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The world of online speech therapy

These past few months have certainly tested our flexibility, ability to adapt quickly, and our technological skills (which if I’m being honest, for me are historically questionable…🙈). But as daunting of a task as it seemed doing ALL therapy through teletherapy I’ve actually grown to really love it! I find that patients are more compliant and consistent with attendance and enjoy the ability to just “hop on” their computer to have their session. It seems that research feels the same! Here’s an interesting study from a little while back (before teletherapy was the name of the game), comparing voice teletherapy to in person teletherapy.

The study looked at patients with a variety of voice disorders and compared results from conventional “in-person” therapy to virtual voice therapy. Outcome measures included perceptual judgments of voice quality, acoustic analyses, patient satisfaction ratings, and fiber-optic laryngoscopy. There were no significant differences in improvement on outcome measures between the conventional group and the virtual group after completion of the therapy program.

More recent studies have shown similar effects (I.e. as summarized by Grillo, 2019):

Benefits of teletherapy have been cited as:

  • Potential decreased “drop out” rate during therapy due to ease of access

  • Benefits of natural home environment for targeting functional goals

  • Convenience

  • Ability to get highly specialized treatment otherwise unavailable

  • Access to treatment for those in more remote areas

What are your thoughts on teletherapy? Is it here to stay long term? 🤔

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