HOW do I know that teletherapy works?
This mode of service delivery is noted to have similar outcomes to in-person intervention. With technology increasingly becoming part of our daily lives and routines, more research is being conducted on the effectiveness of online therapy. Evidence suggests that regardless of whether clinicians are interacting with the individual in person or via video chat, he/she will benefit from the interaction linguistically as long as this interaction includes all of the elements of social contingency: eye contact, immediate responses, using the person’s name, asking questions, and taking and encouraging conversational turns.
Please check out this video from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association about the effectiveness of telepractice:
“The Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (SAC) endorses the use of telepractice in both speech-language pathology and audiology as a means of improving access to services provided by fully qualified professionals”. (Source)
Here is what some of the existing research studies have to say:
A study comparing children who received online therapy versus in-person therapy for difficulty with speech sounds found that “both […] made significant improvements in performance and equal gains were demonstrated”.
A study examining the use of telepractice as a method of delivery of speech and language services to individuals with autism spectrum disorders in rural areas, indicated that the findings suggest that a telepractice service delivery method is an effective and valid way to provide interventions to students with ASD.
A pilot study comparing students working with an SLP through online therapy with those going to in-person sessions. They found that “mastery or adequate progress was accomplished for 88% of the objectives for telepractice and 84% of the objectives for on-site”.
A study, examining the effectiveness of ReST via telepractice, demonstrates “significant… generalization of the treatment effect to untreated imitated pseudo-words and real words” (“Rapid Syllable Transitions” (ReST) is a new treatment childhood apraxia of speech that uses pseudo-word targets with varying lexical stress patterns to target… articulatory accuracy, fluent transitions between syllables, and lexical stress”).