Summary of the Systematic Review

Article Citation

A Systematic Review of the Use of Telehealth in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences

Molini-Avejonas, D. R., Rondon-Melo, S., et al. (2015).
Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 21(7), 367-376.
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Article Quality Ratings

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Indicators of Review Quality

  • No The review states a clearly focused question/aim.
  • Yes Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided.
  • Yes Search strategy described in sufficient detail for replication.
  • No Included studies are assessed for study quality.
  • N/A Quality assessments are reproducible.
  • Yes Characteristics of the included studies are provided.

Quality Rating Notes

Question/aim is broad.

Article Details

Description

This is a systematic review of the literature on speech, language, and hearing assessment and treatment via telehealth. Domains addressed include hearing, language, speech, voice, swallowing, orofacial myology and reading/writing disorders. Various populations are included. Benefits and barriers of telehealth are discussed.

Questions/Aims Addressed

"The aim of this paper is to provide a systematic literature review that investigates telehealth applications within the domain of speech-language and hearing sciences" (p. 2).

Population

Any population related to speech-language and hearing services

Intervention/Assessment

The use of telehealth to provide any intervention related to speech-language and hearing services

Number of Studies Included

103

Years Included

Up to August 2014


Conclusions from This Systematic Review

What are Conclusions?

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Assessment

Six papers were found comparing telepractice to face-to-face assessment for dysphagia. Most of the studies reported both improved access to and quality of care. Early diagnosis and treatment for dysphagia was emphasized. Barriers to implementation included internet speed, individual computer skills, and accessing patient health data. It should be noted that of the studies included,
  • four were authored by the same or similar group of individuals, and two of those studies appear to share at least some portion of participants; and
  • two are pilot studies, one of which used simulated patients.

Keywords: Format (Individual/Group/Telepractice), Documentation, Technological Considerations, Dysphagia

Service Delivery

Six papers were found comparing telepractice to face-to-face assessment for dysphagia. Most of the studies reported both improved access to and quality of care. Early diagnosis and treatment for dysphagia was emphasized. Barriers to implementation included internet speed, individual computer skills, and accessing patient health data. It should be noted that of the studies included,
  • four were authored by the same or similar group of individuals, and two of those studies appear to share at least some portion of participants; and
  • two are pilot studies, one of which used simulated patients.

Keywords: Format (Individual/Group/Telepractice), Documentation, Technological Considerations, Dysphagia

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Service Delivery

Out of thirty-three studies investigating the benefits of telehealth to identify the presence of hearing loss in individuals, 93.9% reported improved access to care and 21.2% reported cost-effectiveness.

Keywords: Telepractice, Telepractice, Hearing Loss

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Service Delivery

Out of thirty-three studies investigating the benefits of telehealth to identify the presence of hearing loss in individuals, 93.9% reported improved access to care and 21.2% reported cost-effectiveness.

Keywords: Telepractice, Telepractice, Hearing Loss

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Assessment

Three studies supported the cost-effectiveness and viability of using telehealth for assessment, diagnosis, and telemonitoring of voice disorders in individuals with Parkinson's disease. 

Keywords: Format - Telepractice, Speech/Voice, Parkinson‘s Disease, Voice Disorders

Service Delivery

Three studies supported the cost-effectiveness and viability of using telehealth for assessment, diagnosis, and telemonitoring of voice disorders in individuals with Parkinson's disease. 

Keywords: Format - Telepractice, Speech/Voice, Parkinson‘s Disease, Voice Disorders

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Assessment

Out of thirty-three studies investigating the benefits of telehealth to identify the presence of hearing loss in individuals, 93.9% reported improved access to care and 21.2% reported cost-effectiveness.

Keywords: Telepractice, Telepractice, Hearing Loss

Three studies supported the cost-effectiveness and viability of using telehealth for assessment, diagnosis, and telemonitoring of voice disorders in individuals with Parkinson's disease. 

Keywords: Format - Telepractice, Speech/Voice, Parkinson‘s Disease, Voice Disorders

Nine studies examined use of telehealth in voice disorders. Most addressed assessment and screening of voice, and "results showed that remote voice assessment was considered reliable and viable" (p. 19). One study compared face-to-face intervention with intervention via real-time remote videoconferencing, and found no significant differences in outcomes (perception of voice quality, acoustic changes, patient satisfaction, laryngeal changes). Access to services and cost-effectiveness were mentioned as benefits of telehealth. Barriers included internet/computer access, internet speed, and individual skills in using telehealth. 

Keywords: Format (Individual/Group/Telepractice), Technological Considerations, Voice Disorders

One study found positive results of a children's literacy assessment administered over the internet via videoconferencing. Further research was suggested to address technology issues with the audio. 

Keywords: Format (Group), Children, Technological Considerations, Written Language Disorders

Six papers were found comparing telepractice to face-to-face assessment for dysphagia. Most of the studies reported both improved access to and quality of care. Early diagnosis and treatment for dysphagia was emphasized. Barriers to implementation included internet speed, individual computer skills, and accessing patient health data. It should be noted that of the studies included,
  • four were authored by the same or similar group of individuals, and two of those studies appear to share at least some portion of participants; and
  • two are pilot studies, one of which used simulated patients.

Keywords: Format (Individual/Group/Telepractice), Documentation, Technological Considerations, Dysphagia

Treatment

For individuals receiving speech-language pathology or audiology services via telepractice, "telehealth activities demonstrated mainly advantages over the alternative non-telehealth approaches" (p. 6). Benefits of telepractice were improved access to care, cost-effectiveness, and patient/caregiver satisfaction. Possible barriers to telepractice included internet speed and technological limitations, lack of acceptance for telepractice, and the need for more data on the efficacy of interventions provided. Additional research on the use of telepractice for providing audiology or speech-language pathology services is warranted.

Keywords: Technological Considerations

Three studies supported the cost-effectiveness and viability of using telehealth for assessment, diagnosis, and telemonitoring of voice disorders in individuals with Parkinson's disease. 

Keywords: Format - Telepractice, Speech/Voice, Parkinson‘s Disease, Voice Disorders

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Assessment

Nine studies examined use of telehealth in voice disorders. Most addressed assessment and screening of voice, and "results showed that remote voice assessment was considered reliable and viable" (p. 19). One study compared face-to-face intervention with intervention via real-time remote videoconferencing, and found no significant differences in outcomes (perception of voice quality, acoustic changes, patient satisfaction, laryngeal changes). Access to services and cost-effectiveness were mentioned as benefits of telehealth. Barriers included internet/computer access, internet speed, and individual skills in using telehealth. 

Keywords: Format (Individual/Group/Telepractice), Technological Considerations, Voice Disorders

Treatment

Nine studies examined use of telehealth in voice disorders. Most addressed assessment and screening of voice, and "results showed that remote voice assessment was considered reliable and viable" (p. 19). One study compared face-to-face intervention with intervention via real-time remote videoconferencing, and found no significant differences in outcomes (perception of voice quality, acoustic changes, patient satisfaction, laryngeal changes). Access to services and cost-effectiveness were mentioned as benefits of telehealth. Barriers included internet/computer access, internet speed, and individual skills in using telehealth. 

Keywords: Format (Individual/Group/Telepractice), Technological Considerations, Voice Disorders

Service Delivery

Nine studies examined use of telehealth in voice disorders. Most addressed assessment and screening of voice, and "results showed that remote voice assessment was considered reliable and viable" (p. 19). One study compared face-to-face intervention with intervention via real-time remote videoconferencing, and found no significant differences in outcomes (perception of voice quality, acoustic changes, patient satisfaction, laryngeal changes). Access to services and cost-effectiveness were mentioned as benefits of telehealth. Barriers included internet/computer access, internet speed, and individual skills in using telehealth. 

Keywords: Format (Individual/Group/Telepractice), Technological Considerations, Voice Disorders

Go to Map

Assessment

One study found positive results of a children's literacy assessment administered over the internet via videoconferencing. Further research was suggested to address technology issues with the audio. 

Keywords: Format (Group), Children, Technological Considerations, Written Language Disorders

Service Delivery

One study found positive results of a children's literacy assessment administered over the internet via videoconferencing. Further research was suggested to address technology issues with the audio. 

Keywords: Format (Group), Children, Technological Considerations, Written Language Disorders

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