Authors: Mortley J, Wade J, Enderby P
Title: Superhighway to promoting a client-therapist partnership? Using the internet to deliver word-retrieval computer therapy, monitored remotely with minimal speech and language therapy input
Source: Aphasiology 2004 18(3): 193-211
Year: 2004
Research Design: Case Series

BACKGROUND: Advances in information and communications technology have not only made independent speech and language therapy practice using a computer possible, it is now feasible to monitor this therapy from a different location ('remotely'). AIMS: This paper describes an evaluation of whether therapy delivered this way is efficacious and acceptable in improving word-retrieval and efficient in terms of therapist time. METHODS AND PROCEDURES: Seven participants were recruited to a case series study, with an ABA design, where A represented a no-treatment assessment phase. All were at least 2 years post CVA and had word-finding difficulties associated with aphasia. Participants had access to therapy software on a home computer. Therapy exercises were updated remotely by a therapist from a clinic computer via the Internet. No face-to-face therapy took place. OUTCOMES AND RESULTS: Outcome measures included data on software usage, pre and post-therapy language assessments, and pre and post-therapy participant interviews to explore perceived benefits and user's views. Results showed intensive use of the system, and improvement in word retrieval skills. CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest this mode of therapy delivery is efficacious, acceptable, and gave participants a high degree of independence. Relatively little input in terms of therapist time is required. The findings are discussed in terms of implications for therapy delivery for people with aphasia.

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