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Date of Award

2018

Keywords

Aphasia, Dysaphasia, Tele-health, Tele-rehabilitation, Tele-practice

Abstract

Access to skilled speech and language intervention can be difficult for individuals residing in rural areas as well as for individuals with complex health and mobility issues. Telehealth (including therapy and rehabilitation) can provide effective services in the context of one’s home, allowing clinicians to reach a wider population of individuals.
Purpose: To determine whether tele-practice service delivery produces positive expressive language outcomes that are comparable to direct service delivery for adults with aphasia.
Method:
A variety of databases were searched utilizing systematic inclusionary and exclusionary criteria. Research focused on adults over the age of 18 with a formal diagnosis of aphasia who engaged in telehealth intervention. Various research designs were identified and analyzed. Identified articles included a total of 235 participants.
Results:
The identified studies supported the implementation of tele-practice as a means of providing individuals with aphasia access to services that produce positive expressive language outcomes. Several studies indicated that tele-practice produces similar outcomes when compared to traditional direct therapy. Several studies also included qualitative data regarding patient satisfaction and quality of life, much of which produced positive outcomes.
Conclusion: The chosen studies were found to largely support the inclusion of tele-practice as an effective option for producing positive expressive language outcomes for individuals with aphasia. Potential limitations include variability in treatment times and programs, assessment tools used, clinical training of individuals providing treatment, small sample sizes, and variable patient characteristics. Future research should focus on implementing research designs using larger numbers of individuals to increase generalizability.

Advisor

Nancy Gauvin, EdD, CCC-SLP

The Efficacy of Tele-practice on Expressive Language Outcomes for Adults with Aphasia

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