Tele-assistance in intellectual disability

Serafino Buono, Santina Città

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We conducted a trial of multidisciplinary tele-assistance to support 20 families of patients with intellectual disability. Psychological, educational, social and medical support was provided by videoconferencing, email and on-line sharing of diagnostic and rehabilitation tools. The main topics dealt with were self-care, learning processes, adaptation skills, management of problem behaviours and health problems. A computer network was developed which connected workstations at the patients' houses and two main sites at the Oasi Institute. It was based on ISDN transmission. During the study, 840 videoconference sessions and 805 programme planning and case discussions took place. After one year of tele-assistance, most families (84%) stated that they were satisfied with the experience, underlining, among various advantages, the availability of professional and continuous support, the reduction of inconvenient travelling to specialized centres and the increase in adaptation skills of their children. Although the present study was empirical, our experience suggests that tele-assistance can satisfy some of the main needs of persons with intellectual disability and their families.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-245
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Telemedicine and Telecare
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Policy
  • Nursing(all)


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