Pediatric SLP services and COVID-19 (Campbell & Goldstein, 2021)
journal contributionposted on 19.08.2021, 22:59 by Deborah R. Campbell, Howard Goldstein
Purpose: In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a worldwide shift from in-person care to synchronous videoconferencing or telehealth. Many barriers to remote service delivery were eliminated, effectively creating a new generation of telepractitioners. This study chronicles changes in speech-language pathology clinicians’ use and perceptions of telehealth with pediatric populations.
Method: The Telehealth Services: Pediatric Provider Survey was created in multiple steps and then distributed broadly through social media and professional community sites. Respondents were speech-language pathologists and speech-language pathology assistants in a variety of employment settings from across the country and abroad who were serving primarily pediatric clients (n = 269). Survey questions sought to capture changes in speech-language pathology clinicians’ experiences with and perceptions of telehealth before, during, and predictions after the COVID-19 pandemic. Analyses identified factors that influenced the use of telehealth services before and after March 2020 (COVID-19).
Results: Survey results documented the dramatic increase in telehealth use from before March 2020 to October 2020. The reasons pediatric speech-language pathology clinicians used telehealth during the pandemic were mostly a result of employer mandates or lowering infection risk for both client and clinician; however, over time, pediatric speech-language pathology clinicians increased their telehealth proficiency and discovered the benefits of telehealth.
Conclusion: The adoption of telehealth and the rapid improvement in proficiency is a testament to the resiliency of providers and has long-term effects on the use of telehealth into the future.
Supplemental Material S1. Telehealth Services: Pediatric Provider Survey.
Campbell, D. R., & Goldstein, H. (2021). Genesis of a new generation of telepractitioners: The COVID-19 pandemic and pediatric speech-language pathology services. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2021_AJSLP-21-00013