The International Use of Telepractice
Access to the Internet and modern telecommunications around the world has increased substantially to the point where, in many parts of the world, it is easier to get online or make an international telephone call than to gain access to a speech-language pathologist. There are many parts of the world where speech-language professionals are not available at all, but substantial segments of the population do have access to the Internet. Overall, worldwide access to the Internet is approximately 30% of the population, ranging from nearly 80% in North America to approximately 11% in Africa (Internet World Stats, 2011). However, even in the locations where Internet access is not as widely available as in the United States, it is still more accessible than face-to-face speech-language pathology services. The limited access to services has been recognized as a reason for providing them by using telepractice paradigms. Many communication disorders lend themselves to assessment and treatment using video and/or audio technology. This article reports on models for providing care to people at a distance, including internationally, and presents a new model for allowing clinicians to reach people all over the world. The authors present possible obstacles as well as some misconceptions about limitations for the purpose of finding ways to allow our clinical skills to be applied to new technologies that are gaining wider acceptance.
Shprintzen, R.J. & Golding-Kushner, K.J. (2012). The international use of telepractice. Perspectives on Telepractice, 2(1), 16-25. doi: 10.1044/tele2.1.16
Perspectives on Telepractice