Delivering Quality Allied Health Services to Children with Complex Disability via Telepractice: Lessons Learned from Four Case Studies

Monique Hines, Kim Bulkeley, Simone Dudley, Sue Cameron, Michelle Lincoln

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

People with disabilities living in rural and remote areas often have insufficient access to the allied health services that they require. Telepractice has emerged as a promising solution, yet little is known about whether it is possible to deliver quality disability therapy services via technology or of the considerations required to achieve positive outcomes. Multiple case studies using mixed methods were conducted to achieve in-depth examination of the telepractice services received by four children with disabilities and their families living in rural and remote Australia. Data analysis indicated that telepractice services were highly acceptable to parents and teachers and supported children to achieve positive outcomes for a variety of functional goals related to speech-language pathology and occupational therapy. Findings indicated that quality telepractice can deliver services consistent with contemporary disability expectations. Of critical importance were the skills of allied health professionals to facilitate person-centred practice and strong therapeutic relationships with children, parents, and other stakeholders to achieve positive outcomes for children. Our findings indicate that telepractice is a legitimate option for therapy service delivery that has the potential to provide people with disabilities increased choice and control over the services they receive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-609
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities
Volume31
Issue number5
Early online date2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019

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