No other choice: Speech-Language Pathologists' attitudes toward using telepractice to administer the Lidcombe Program during a pandemic

J Fluency Disord. 2021 Dec:70:105879. doi: 10.1016/j.jfludis.2021.105879. Epub 2021 Sep 15.


Purpose: Telepractice has been shown to be a viable modality for the delivery of stuttering treatment. Since the advent of COVID-19, speech-language pathologists must adapt in-clinic treatments for online presentation. This research aimed to gather information from speech-language pathologists on their experiences of telepractice to deliver the Lidcombe Program to treat stuttering in young children.

Methods: This paper presents the findings of an online survey that polled the clinical experiences of 106 speech-language pathologists who were delivering the Lidcombe Program via telepractice during COVID-19.

Results: The majority of respondents were experienced clinicians from the United States and Canada who had attended a Lidcombe Program workshop. Prior to COVID-19, 80 % had provided some clinical services online (up to 10 % of the time), and at the start of COVID-19 public lockdown orders, 77 % viewed telepractice as both a necessity and an opportunity. Three months after the public lockdown orders, the large majority, 94 %, said that they would continue to use both telepractice and in-clinic treatment in the future. Technology issues, concerns about establishing the clinical relationship, and identification of mild stuttering featured as challenges of telepractice service delivery, while benefits included time efficiency, flexibility of scheduling, and improved clinical processes.

Conclusion: Respondents reported that the Lidcombe Program was easily translatable to telepractice and the majority intend to continue telepractice in the future.

Keywords: Lidcombe Program; Stuttering; Telepractice.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude
  • COVID-19*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Communicable Disease Control
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Pathologists
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Speech
  • Stuttering*
  • United States