Teletherapy works

Teletherapy is a newer way to deliver services to students but is quickly gaining in popularity. Why? Because it works. Evidence emerging from studies continues to demonstrate the effectiveness of teletherapy and remote education. Below, you can learn more about the research findings that are proving how different areas of teletherapy are working.

Whenever there is a shift within education and related services, people wonder: Will this work? More and more research is being done on teletherapy, and the answer is yes. With proper training and tools, teletherapy is proving to be as effective as on-site service delivery, and often more so. As data comes in, all stakeholders – administrators, parents, and students – can rely on teletherapy as a reliable, powerful model of service delivery. Learn more about the published research supporting specific areas of teletherapy below.

Articulation & phonological disorder research

In the realm of assessment within articulation and phonological disorders, studies showed a high correlation between on-site and teletherapy services. Measures utilized included speech intelligibility, oral-motor tasks, and judgment of "correctness" vs. "incorrectness." Intervention studies found either favorable or similar results for teletherapy as compared to on-site speech therapy.

Crutchley, S., Dudley, W., & Campbell, M. (2010). Articulation assessment through videoconferencing: A pilot study. Communications of Global Information Technology, 2, 12-23.

Jessiman SM. (2003). Speech and language services using telehealth technology in remote and underserviced areas. Journal of Speech-Language-Pathology and Audiology. 27 (1):45–51.

Waite, M.C., Theodoros, D.G., Russell, T.G., Cahill, L.M. (2012). Assessing children’s’ speech intelligibility and oral structures and functions via an internet-based telehealth system. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 18 (4): 198-203

Gabel, R., Grogan-Johnson, S., Alvares, R., Bechstein, L., Taylor, J. (2013). A Field Study of Telepractice for School Intervention Using the ASHA NOMS K-12 Database. Communication Disorders Quarterly, 35:44.

Grogan-Johnson, S., Schmidt, A. M., Schenker, J., Alvares, R., Rowan, L. E., & Taylor, J. (2013). A Comparison of Speech Sound Intervention Delivered by Telepractice and Side-by-Side Service Delivery Models. Communication Disorders Quarterly, 34(4), 210-220.

Grogan-Johnson, S., Gabel, R., Taylor, J., Rowan, L., Alvares, R., & Schenker, J. (2011). A pilot exploration of speech sound disorder intervention delivered by telehealth to school-age children. International Journal of Telerehabilitation,3(1), 31-42.

Grogan-Johnson, S., Alvares, R., Rowan, L., & Creaghead, N. (2010). A pilot study comparing the effectiveness of speech language therapy provided by telemedicine with conventional on-site therapy. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 16, 134-139.

Childhood apraxia of speech and teletherapy research

Assessment research of childhood apraxia of speech showed no significant difference between on-site and teletherapy scores.

Hill, A. J., Theodoros, D. G., Russell, T. G., & Ward, E. C. (2009). Using telerehabilitation to assess apraxia of speech in adults. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 44, 731–747.

Teletherapy for language disorders research

Assessment studies in teletherapy for language disorders showed no significant difference in on-site compared to teletherapy. Intervention research demonstrated similar results; however, one two-year study (Schiedeman-Miller et al.) showed substantial gains in teletherapy, with 2 students exiting from SLP services.

Fairweather, C.; Parkin, M.; Roza, M. (2004). Speech and language assessment in school-aged children via videoconferencing. Paper presented at the 26th World Congress of the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics, Brisbane, Australia.

Waite, M., Theodoros, D. G., Russell, T., & Cahill, L. (2010). Internet-based telehealth assessment of language using the CELF-4. Language Speech and Hearing Services in Schools, 41, 445-458.

Hall, N., Boisvert, M., Jellison, H., Andianopoulos, M. (2014). Language intervention via text-based tele- AAC: A case study comparing on-site and telepractice services. Perspectives on Telepractice, 4, 61-70.

Scheideman-Miller, C., Clark, P. G., Smeltzer, S. S., Cloud, A., Carpenter, J., Hodge, B., & Prouty, D. (2002). Two year results of a pilot study delivering speech therapy to students in a rural Oklahoma school via telemedicine. In Proceedings of the 35th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Systems Sciences.

Fluency intervention through telepractice research

Studies of fluency intervention showed significant progress in telepractice, along with maintained progress via telepractice.

Bridgman, K. (2014.) Webcam Delivery of the Lidcombe program for preschool children who stutter: A randomised controlled trial. Unpublished thesis. The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Retrieved from: http:/

Carey, B., O’Brian, S., Onslow, M., Block, S., Jones, M., Packman, A. (2010). Randomized controlled noninferiority trial of telehealth treatment for chronic stuttering: The Camperdown program. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 45, 108– 120.

Irani, F., Gabel, R., Swartz, E., Palasik, S. (2009.) Intensive stuttering therapy with telepractice follow-up: Evaluating effectiveness. Poster presented at the annual convention of the American Speech-Language- Hearing Association, 2009. New Orleans, Louisiana.

Lewis, C., Packman, A., Onslow, M., Simpson, J.A. & Jones, M. (2008). A phase 1 trial of telehealth delivery of the Lidcombe Program of Early Stuttering Intervention. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 17, 139-149.

O’Brian, S.; Smith, K.; Onslow, M. (2014) Webcam Delivery of the Lidcombe Program for Early Stuttering: A Phase I Clinical Trial. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2014, Vol. 57, 825-830.

Sicotte, C. Lehoux, P. Fortier-Blanc, J. Leblanc, Y. (2003). Feasibility and outcome evaluation of a telemedicine application in speech-language pathology. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 9, 253–258.

Online Occupational Therapy Research

Research studies showed a high correlation between on-site and teletherapy service deliveries within assessment and intervention, with high levels of satisfaction among teletherapy students.

Criss, Melanie Joy. “School-Based Telerehabilitation in Occupational Therapy: Using Telerehabilitation Technologies to Promote Improvements in Student Performance.” International Journal of Telerehabilitation 5.1 (2013): 39–46.PMC. Web. 21 June 2016.

Savard, L., Borstad, A., Tkachuck, J., Lauderdale, D., & Conroy, B. (2003). Telerehabilitation consultations for clients with neurologic diagnoses: Cases from rural Minnesota and American Samoa. NeuroRehabilitation, 18, 93–102.

Sanford, J., Hoenig, H., Griffiths, P., Butterfield, T., Richardson, P., & Hargraves, K. (2007). A comparison of televideo and traditional in-home rehabilitation in mobility impaired older adults. Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics, 25, 1–18.

Remote school psychology research

No significant differences were found between the results of on-site and remote school psychology conditions.

Wright, A.J. (2016). Equivalence of Remote, Online Administration and Traditional, Face-to-Face Administration of Woodcock-Johnson IV Cognitive and Achievement Tests. Unpublished Manuscript. Empire State College, SUNY, Saratoga Springs, NY.