Virtual Therapy Experiences of Speech-Language Pathologists Working with Clients with Aphasia



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During the COVID-19 pandemic, many speech-language pathologists (SLPs) made the abrupt transition from in-person therapy to virtual platforms. Even after the pandemic, virtual therapy has made its mark on service provision and continues to be a practical option for many. The purpose of this research project was to document the experiences and viewpoints of SLPs who conduct virtual therapy with people with aphasia (PWA). Aphasia is a neurological language disorder that results in expressive and receptive language impairment. Due to the complexity of aphasia, SLPs must provide multimodal supports (e.g., written words, images) to improve language comprehension and expression. Therefore, it is necessary to identify methods to improve service provision via telepractice. We conducted semi-structured interviews with SLPs with experience providing services to PWA virtually. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and four themes emerged from the dataset.  Themes included the importance of shared communication space, the need for just-in-time supports, the importance of visuals, and technological challenges experienced by PWA and SLPs.



Communication sciences and disorders