alexa SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY TELETHERAPY IN RURAL AND REMOTE EDUCATIONAL AND EARLY CHILDHOOD SETTINGS: EFFICACY, FEASIBILITY, AND ACCEPTABILITY | 68653
ISSN: 2157-7420

Journal of Health & Medical Informatics
Open Access

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10th World Congress on HEALTHCARE & TECHNOLOGIES

Craig Fairweather
The University of Sydney, Australia
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: J Health Med Informat
DOI: 10.4172/2157-7420-C1-016
Abstract
Statement of the Problem: Telethealth therapy services, or teletherapy, have been increasingly applied by allied health professionals, such as speech-language pathologists, to overcome barriers of access to assessment and treatment. In rural and remote areas especially travel is a significant issue for both clients and clinicians. A range of teletherapy programs for children is becoming available in schools, and early childhood settings yet these are often difficult to establish and sustain. Research has insufficiently examined factors affecting teletherapy stakeholder attitudes crucial to these programs functioning, efficacy, and sustainability. The purpose of this study is to investigate the efficacy of a speech-language pathology teletherapy program for children in rural schools and early childhood settings and to describe the views and experiences of stakeholder parents, school executives and therapy assistants regarding the program’s feasibility and acceptability. Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: A group treatment study with a mixed method evaluation was utilized. Program efficacy was evaluated through analysis of Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS) results for all skill-based intervention goals. Thematic content analysis with constant comparison was applied to semi-structured in-depth interviews for three groups of participants, identifying relationships in the data. Findings: The majority of treatment goals were achieved to expected levels. All three groups of stakeholders found the program both feasible and acceptable, describing both its advantages as a practical, convenient and easier learning process, some disadvantages, and ideas to improve effectiveness, support and satisfaction. Conclusion & Significance: Speech-language pathology teletherapy programs in rural schools and early childhood settings can improve the speech and language skills of children and be considered feasible and acceptable to stakeholders but should address key areas of communication and support. Recommendations are made for allied health teletherapy programs’ structure and delivery to help address these priorities of stakeholders.
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