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Telehealth in speech and language therapy during the COVID-19 pandemic: a systematic review

HumanInsight Telehealth in speech and language therapy during the COVID-19 pandemic: a systematic review

Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. 2022 Sep 21:1-8. doi: 10.1080/17483107.2022.2122605. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: The need for social distancing in order to reduce the prevalence of COVID-19 concomitant with the needs of patients as well as the protection of the patients and service providers which has led to the use of tele health in speech and language therapy. For this reason, we decided to review the studies that focus on tele health in speech and language therapy during the COVID-19 pandemic and the purpose of this study is to investigate the use and satisfaction of tele health in speech and language therapy.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted a systematic review of the literature in accordance with the PRISMA statement on google scholar, PubMed, Scopus, Science direct, ProQuest, Web of science, Springer and Cochrane databases between 2020 - 2021. An additional manual search was performed, taking into consideration references of the included papers, through the same eligibility criteria. Two researchers screened the titles and abstracts of articles that met inclusion criteria. The methodological quality of the included papers was evaluated using the Critical Appraisals Skills Program (CASP) checklists.

RESULTS: The collection of reviewed articles included 83 articles from different countries, subsequently 8 articles (3 clinical trials and 5 experimental) were selected. The data extracted were: participations, objects, methods, tools and results.

CONCLUSIONS: According to present study, tele health can be used in diagnosis and treatment of speech-language conditions as well as educating speech and language pathology students. Moreover, these findings showed patients and therapists were more inclined to utilise tele health.IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATIONReduced access to in-person rehabilitation care in covid-19 pandemic, along with changes in health care finance and delivery, contributed to an exponential increase in telehealth.Measures of quality and patient satisfaction are unknown in the model of tele rehabilitation.To date, the literature on tele rehabilitation is limited and most commonly describes treatment for an impairment within a specific disease.Beyond infection control, eliminating travel time, incorporating other health care advocates, and convenience delivering care in familiar environments to pediatric patients are all benefits that will be durable outside times of pandemic.For families who live in rural or medically underserved areas and have access to internet and technology, telemedicine is a tool to provide access to medical care. Telemedicine can also increase patient and caregiver satisfaction through reduced travel and clinic wait time and increased potential for appointment time flexibility.Tele rehabilitation medicine provides an opportunity to deliver timely, patient and family-centric rehabilitation care while maintaining physical distancing and reducing potential COVID-19 exposure for our patients, their caregivers and medical providers.Since SLP mostly relies on communication through visual-auditory and perceptual aspects, tele practice could be a proper opportunity to provide care in this field.Given the need for continuous therapy sessions in order to treat speech-language disorders, the application of tele practice may eliminate problems in this area to some extent while preventing the transmission of COVID-19.

PMID:36129435 | DOI:10.1080/17483107.2022.2122605

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