Hand therapy in Iran during the pandemic of covid-19: Scraping Social media (Instagram)

Document Type : Original Article


1 Post-doctorate Associate, Department of Physical therapy, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada.

2 Assistant Professor, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

3 Department of Physical therapy. University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada

4 Orthopedic Hand Surgeon. Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Imam Hospital Complex, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Joint Reconstruction Research Center

5 Art and humanity, Huron University college at University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada.

6 Cognitive science,institute for cognitive science studies,tehran,iran


Background: The fast-evolving pandemic of COVID-19 has forced clinicians to implement tele-health strategies in their routine practice. Social media provides unprecedented opportunities to transfer educational, monitoring, and individualizing data to the target populations. There have been numerous efforts on social media to use telerehabilitation approaches for patients and therapists.
Question/purpose :The purpose of this study was to explore and analysis the trend that hand therapists used for tele-rehabilitation approaches during the lock dawn period in Iran.
Methods :Scraping method was used to map out the tele-rehabilitation strategies that Iranian therapists have implemented for the hand and upper extremity injuries during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tele rehabilitation method was searched by relevant hashtags and direct contact with therapists. Extracted data were described and categorized by content analysis and thematic coding.
Results: During lock dawn period, 27 records from 18 accounts were posted with relative tele rehabilitation content in Iran. Based on the content of extracted data four themes were conceptualized: Empowerment, informative, adaptive to new situations, and supportive approach. The content that were covered in the most posts were informative approach (40%).
Conclusion: In spite of the urgent necessity for delivering care during the lockdown, the total number of the active therapists was very low. No documented method or platform was identified.