A pilot study of online assessment of childhood speech disorders

Waite, Monique C.; Cahill, Louise M.; Theodoros, Deborah G.; Busuttin, Sarah; Russell, Trevor G.
October 2006
Journal of Telemedicine & Telecare;Oct2006 Supplement, Vol. 12, p92
Academic Journal
We investigated the feasibility of assessing childhood speech disorders via an Internet-based telehealth system (eREHAB). The equipment provided videoconferencing through a 128 kbit/s Internet link, and enabled the transfer of pre-recorded video and audio data from the participant to the online clinician. Six children (mean age = 5.3 years) with a speech disorder were studied. Assessments of single-word articulation, intelligibility in conversation, and oro-motor structure and function were conducted for each participant, with simultaneous scoring by a face to face and an online clinician. There were high levels of agreement between the two scoring environments for single-word articulation (92%), speech intelligibility (100%) and oro-motor tasks (91%). High levels of inter- and intra-rater agreement were achieved for the online ratings for most measures. The results suggest that an Internet-based assessment protocol has potential for assessing paediatric speech disorders.


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