An exploratory study of speech-language pathologists’ clinical practice in the literacy domain: Comparing onsite practices with telepractice services during COVID-19

Lisa Marie Furlong, Tanya Anne Serry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: To explore speech-language pathologists' (SLP) practice in literacy prior to, and during, COVID-19 to understand the practicalities, feasibility and sustainability of telepractice literacy services. 

Method: This exploratory study employed a cross-sectional survey comprising 46 questions covering participants’ caseload profile and service delivery models, their assessment and intervention practices and telepractice delivery of literacy services. 

Result: Participants were 44 SLPs working primarily in private practice and education with children and adolescents. Students with literacy difficulties comprised a significant proportion of SLPs’ caseloads. Individual and group sessions were the most common format of delivery prior to COVID-19. In a telepractice model during COVID-19, SLPs saw fewer students overall. Most provided individual sessions only and reported cancellation of group sessions. SLPs described their practice in literacy as being aligned with evidence-based principles. A range of resources were used for literacy assessment and intervention. For most, their usual practice changed for telepractice. Many felt underprepared to use telepractice and experienced numerous challenges mostly relating to technology and family engagement. 

Conclusion: Literacy has become a core area of practice for SLPs; however, continued advocacy towards consultative and collaborative services is needed within onsite and telepractice models. Telepractice required SLPs to develop additional skills and modify usual practice. Despite experiencing challenges, many indicated they would continue with telepractice given its perceived benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-218
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Volume25
Issue number2
Early online date9 Apr 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • clinical practice
  • COVID-19
  • literacy
  • speech-language pathologists
  • telepractice

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