Speech-language pathology teletherapy in rural and remote educational settings

Decreasing service inequities

Glenn Craig Fairweather, Michelle Ann Lincoln, Robyn Ramsden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: The objectives of this study were to investigate the efficacy of a speech-language pathology teletherapy program for children attending schools and early childcare settings in rural New South Wales, Australia, and their parents’ views on the program’s feasibility and acceptability. Method: Nineteen children received speech-language pathology sessions delivered via Adobe Connect®, Facetime© or Skype© web-conferencing software. During semi-structured interviews, parents (n = 5) described factors that promoted or threatened the program’s feasibility and acceptability. Result: Participation in a speech-language pathology teletherapy program using low-bandwidth videoconferencing improved the speech and language skills of children in both early childhood settings and primary school. Emergent themes related to (a) practicality and convenience, (b) learning, (c) difficulties and (d) communication. Conclusion: Treatment outcome data and parental reports verified that the teletherapy service delivery was feasible and acceptable. However, it was also evident that regular discussion and communication between the various stakeholders involved in teletherapy programs may promote increased parental engagement and acceptability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-602
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Volume18
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes

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