A pilot study comparing the effectiveness of speech language therapy provided by telemedicine with conventional on-site therapy

J Telemed Telecare. 2010;16(3):134-9. doi: 10.1258/jtt.2009.090608. Epub 2010 Mar 2.


We compared the progress made by school children in speech language therapy provided through videoconferencing and conventional face-to-face speech language therapy. The children were treated in two groups. In the first group, 17 children received telemedicine treatment for 4 months, and then subsequently conventional therapy for 4 months. In the second group, 17 children received conventional treatment for 4 months and then subsequently telemedicine treatment for 4 months. The outcome measures were student progress, participant satisfaction and any interruptions to service delivery. Student progress reports indicated that the children made similar progress during the study whichever treatment method was used. There was no significant difference in GFTA-2 scores (Goldman-Fristoe Test of Articulation) between students in the two treatment groups. Satisfaction surveys indicated that the students and parents overwhelmingly supported the telemedicine service delivery model. During the study, a total of 148 of the 704 possible therapy sessions was not completed (21%); the pattern of cancellations was similar to cancellations in US public schools generally. Videoconferencing appears to be a promising method of delivering speech language therapy services to school children.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language Development Disorders / therapy*
  • Language Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Pilot Projects
  • Rural Health Services / organization & administration
  • School Health Services / organization & administration
  • Speech Therapy / methods*
  • Telemedicine / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome