The Covid-19 pandemic and the implementation of telehealth in speech-language and hearing therapy for patients at home: an experience report
Keywords:Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences, Coronavirus Infections, Remote Consultation, Rehabilitation, Telemedicine
We present an experience report on the implementation of real-time telehealth in speech-language and hearing therapy for patients who were previously seen on an outpatient basis in a primary health care service. Twenty-five users were being monitored by the Speech-Language Therapy (SLT) team when the first cases of COVID-19 were notified in southern Brazil. Of these, it was judged that twelve patients required at least a monitoring call every two weeks. Teleconsultations were available in this first stage, on an emergency basis, during the implementation of the project in this format. The idea was to guarantee, due to the suspension of the SLT sessions, the maintenance of the care service for patients who could suffer worsening of their cases or even comorbidities. The appointments were carried out by video calls by SLT students, therapists of the extension project, and supervised by a speech-language therapist, synchronously. All conversations and orientations during the teleconsultation were conducted as calmly as possible and, in the case of infant patients, permeated by some playful activities. Telehealth has shown to be an efficient resource for the care of patients with SLT demands, enabling remote care with the same quality as face-to-face care. In addition, it has relevant potential, considering that there are a significant number of patients who need SLT assessment and live in regions where there is a shortage of qualified professionals.
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Copyright (c) 2020 Nathalia Avila Dimer, Natalia Canto-Soares, Larissa dos Santos-Teixeira, Bárbara Niegia Garcia de Goulart
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.