Reader Rebecca Matthews has sent me her annual newsletter, which includes a report on progress with her PhD research into delivering therapy to children over the internet via Skype.
Rebecca was motivated to investigate service delivery by videoconferencing to save fuel and make the most of clinical time and says so far opinions are "positive and encouraging". Now in the third year of her research at UCL, she is looking to identify what makes the provision of speech and language therapy via Skype acceptable to people. She is collecting the views of children and parents as well as analysing the activity in both face-to-face and Skype sessions.
Importantly, Rebecca is also looking at video recordings of both types of sessions to see what differences there may be in speaking and working. She has already noted that, as children have to give her instructions via Skype rather than pointing as they can do in a face-to-face session, they are automatically encouraged to do more talking.
Rebecca's review of the TinyEye videoconferencing system for Speech & Language Therapy in Practice is in our Autumn 08 issue (p.28). In a different field of the profession, Susan Howell has reported positively on a feasibility study into the use of the internet, a webcam and broadband to deliver Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) to people with Parkinson's disease.