Chantal Camden, a trained physiotherapist and researcher at the Université de Sherbrooke, is looking for families in need of physiotherapy services for a child from three to eight years of age who are open to being a part of a research project. Through her initiative, projet DESSIN, Camden is looking for ways to improve access to early intervention physiotherapy across the province.
“We hear about it a lot right now, with the COVID,” she said. “Children are not receiving the physiotherapy services that they need right now, but even outside of the pandemic this was an issue.”
Camden explained that projet DESSIN draws on the idea of distance medicine and a kind of modified social networking to provide service to children and their families who might otherwise be cut off from the system and the help they need for fine and gross motor development challenges. The name is a French acronym that stands for “web-based early intervention for children using multi-modal readaptation,” but the researcher said that the reality of the study boils down to video conferencing, resource sharing, and a confidential online forum with therapists and other participants for sharing struggles and best practices.
Launched in February after four years of pilot projects and preparation, Camden said that DESSIN had the effect of making her team experts in the workings of distance medicine in the weeks just before the coming of the COVID -19 pandemic made the implementation of digital house calls a necessity rather than just an interesting new idea
“There are still things we cannot do, though,” the researcher said, explaining that although there is a lot that is possible through video observations, the project team cannot conduct more focused, specialized work from a distance. “When we reach the limits of what we can do at a distance, then we are there to help these people get to the specialists they need.”
Anyone interested in learning more about the study or looking to participate can contact project coordinator Jade Berbari by emailing Jade.firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 819-346-1110 extension 15715 or email the general project address email@example.com. The project also has a French website at https://chantalcamden.wordpress.com/projet-dessin/