What is ASHA's position on telepractice?

What is telepractice?

Telepractice is the telemedicine equivalent of speech-language pathology services. According to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, “Telepractice is the application of telecommunications technology to deliver professional services at a distance by linking clinician to client, or clinician to clinician for assessment, intervention, and/or consultation. It is the position of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) that telepractice is an appropriate model of service delivery for the profession of speech-language pathology” (ASHA).

Is telepractice effective?

There have been many independent studies conducted over the past 15 years that show the effectiveness of telepractice. These studies are published in peer-reviewed journals and show that client outcomes are very similar to in-person speech-language therapy. In some cases, clients are even more satisfied with telepractice due to its convenience, engaging technology, and ability for family members to be involved. Below are a few research studies on the effectiveness of telepractice.

Research on the Effectiveness of Telepractice:

Speech Sound Disorders

Language Disorders

Stuttering

Autism

Speech-language pathologists must adhere to national and state regulations regarding the use of telepractice. ASHA states that services delivered via telepractice must be equivalent to the quality of services provided in person and consistent with adherence to the Code of Ethics (ASHA, 2016a), Scope of Practice in Speech-Language Pathology (ASHA, 2016b), state and federal laws, and ASHA policy. Ultimately, it is the clinician's responsibility to ensure that you are delivering high-quality services and utilizing evidence-based practice.