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Title: The 'acceptability' of Skype mediated Speech and Language Therapy provision to school aged language impaired children
Author: Matthews, R. A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5358 2534
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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There is high demand for Speech and Language Therapy but even with initiatives to address the shortage of therapists, Speech and Language Therapy services struggle to satisfy demand – tele-technology could be a solution. A Speech and Language Therapy service for a paediatric caseload using a desktop video-conferencing system (Skype) was established. A pilot study with three participants determined the feasibility of the Skype Speech and Language Therapy service and trialled measures of clinical activity, Therapist-child interaction, technological utility, and costs. Eleven participants aged between 7 and 14 years with varying therapy needs took part in the main study. Each received a mix of face-to-face (F2F) and Skype Speech and Language Therapy over the ten session trial period. Data were collected for every session using a session profile; adults supporting the children were asked for their views using a questionnaire at the beginning and end of the trial; the child participants were interviewed after the trial period was over; one F2F and one Skype session was video recorded for each participant; work activity was recorded along with identifiable costs of the F2F and Skype Speech and Language Therapy sessions. The level of clinical activity was equivalent between F2F and Skype Speech and Language Therapy sessions, with parents reporting positive views concerning Skype intervention, and growing acceptance of Skype interaction. The analysis of the therapist-child interaction showed broadly similar patterns between the Skype and F2F sessions, with the exception on the use of requests, clarifications, acknowledgements and confirmations where differences were observed. Technological utility was acceptable with minimal audio and visual distortions. Costs for Skype Speech and Language Therapy were substantially lower than the F2F sessions. This research showed that, for the families participating in this research, Speech and Language Therapy services delivered using tele-technology can provide an acceptable alternative to F2F intervention.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available