According to ASHA definition: https://www.asha.org/Evidence-Maps/
‘Telepractice is the application of telecommunications technology to the delivery of speech language pathology and audiology professional services at a distance by linking clinician to client or clinician to clinician for assessment, intervention, and/or consultation.’
Telepractice for Speech Therapy has been proven to be effective and has been practiced in countries like the United States, Canada and Australia.
Since Covid-19 outbreak started, the acceptance of telepractice for speech therapy in Singapore has increased significantly especially during the circuit breaker period.
Our experience shows that it benefits most of our clients who require speech and language therapy, and to some of our clients who require swallowing therapy. We prefer to use Zoom Meetings for our telepractice. We find it easy to be used for 1-to-1 session as well as for group therapy sessions. Therapy tasks can to be shared and be viewed easily by our client(s). Clients are able to respond easily by indicating their answers on the screen by using the writing/drawing function. The Zoom file sharing function has allowed us to still customize and personalize each therapy sessions for our clients.
However, we need to take into consideration client’s proficiency level in technology. For clients who are less tech proficient, our experience shows that simple apps such as Facetime and Whatapp video call can work as well.
LATEST: On 24/4/2020, Facebook has just announced their videoconferencing function that allows video meeting up to 50 people without downloading any apps. That will open up another platform for telepractice.
For Speech-Language Therapists who would like to adopt Telepractice, you may refer to the following links for resources:
- SALTS guidance on telepractice https://salts.org.sg/telepractice/
- MOH National Telemedicine Guidelines https://www.moh.gov.sg/resources-statistics/guidelines/national-telemedicine-guidelines
- ASHA Evidence Map: Telepractice https://www.asha.org/Evidence-Maps/
- ASHA article: Weidner & Lowman, (2020). Telepractice for Adult Speech-Language Pathology Services: A Systematic Review. https://pubs.asha.org/doi/10.1044/2019_PERSP-19-00146
- The Informed SLP: Information on EBP and telepractice https://www.theinformedslpmembers.com/free-telepractice-research-reviews