Telepractice as a Reaction to the COVID-19 Crisis: Insights from Croatian SLP Settings
Keywords:Client selection, COVID-19, Direct therapy, SLP satisfaction, Telepractice
Telepractice facilitates services in exceptional settings and situations. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is certainly such a situation. Due to pandemic-related restrictions, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) needed to adopt new approaches to their professional functioning. The aim of the paper is to examine SLP professionals’ perceptions and application of telepractice in SLP settings in Croatia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two hundred and fifty-five SLPs completed an online survey. The results demonstrated that most SLPs had provided direct online therapy, mainly those employed in health care and private practice. The chief reasons for clients’ refusal of therapy delivered via telepractice included the lack of equipment, insufficient independence, and doubts on the effectiveness of telepractice. Although only 3% of SLPs had acquired some formal knowledge of telepractice before the pandemic, over 70% expressed satisfaction with telepractice because it allowed them to provide undisturbed clinical services in an exceptional situation.
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