Aural Rehabilitation via Telepractice During COVID-19: A Global Perspective on Evolving Early Intervention Practices
Keywords:Aural Rehabilitation, Early Intervention, Hearing Impairment, Lesson Kits, Telepractice
Introduction: Pre-pandemic, telepractice was not globally implemented despite its effectiveness. Clinicians reported challenges related to technology, confidence, and inadequate resources. Objectives: To document global telepractice, identify current obstacles and measure the impact of a possible solution. The timing of this research facilitated tracking telepractice changes during the pandemic. Methods: Two surveys measured practitioners’ experience and attitude towards telepractice. Survey 1 was completed in February-March 2020. Participants then received two specialized lesson kits to trial if desired. Survey 2 was a follow-up after 4-6 weeks. Results: Between surveys, the proportion of participants providing telepractice increased from 47.6% to 91.7%. The lesson kits were trialled by 74.3%. Their use had a positive impact on three of the top five factors affecting the delivery of telepractice: parent coaching, clinician experience and accessing resources. Conclusion: Telepractice was rapidly adopted globally during the pandemic. The specialized resources were helpful in overcoming some of the barriers to delivery.
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