Internet delivery of intensive speech and language therapy for children with cerebral palsy: A pilot randomised controlled trial

Pennington, Lindsay, Stamp, Elaine, Smith, J., Kelly, Helen, Parker, N., Stockwell, K., Aluko, Patricia, Othman, Mukhrizah, Brittain, Katie and Vale, Luke (2019) Internet delivery of intensive speech and language therapy for children with cerebral palsy: A pilot randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open, 9 (1). e024233. ISSN 2044-6055

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Objectives: To test the feasibility of recruitment, retention, outcome measures and internet delivery of dysarthria therapy for young people with cerebral palsy in a randomised controlled trial. Design: Mixed methods. Single blind pilot randomised controlled trial, with control offered Skype therapy at end of study. Qualitative study of the acceptability of therapy delivery via Skype. Setting: Nine speech and language therapy departments in northern England recruited participants to the study. Skype therapy was provided in a university setting. Participants: Twenty two children (14 M, 8 F) with dysarthria and cerebral palsy (mean age 8.8 years (SD 3.2)) agreed to take part. Participants were randomised to dysarthria therapy via Skype (n=11) or treatment as usual (n=11). Interventions: Children received either usual speech therapy from their local therapist for six weeks or dysarthria therapy via Skype from a research therapist. Usual therapy sessions varied in frequency, duration and content. Skype dysarthria therapy focussed on breath control and phonation to produce clear speech at a steady rate, and comprised three 40-minute sessions per week for six weeks. Primary and secondary outcome measures: Feasibility and acceptability of the trial design, intervention and outcome measures. Results: Departments recruited two to three participants. All participants agreed to random allocation. None withdrew from the study. Recordings of children’s speech were made at all time points and rated by listeners. Families allocated to Skype dysarthria therapy judged internet delivery of the therapy to be acceptable. All families reported that the study design was acceptable. Treatment integrity checks suggested that the phrases practiced in one therapy exercise should be reduced in length. Conclusions: A delayed treatment design, in which dysarthria therapy is offered at the end of the study to families allocated to treatment as usual, is acceptable. A randomised controlled trial of internet delivered dysarthria therapy is feasible.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
G900 Others in Mathematical and Computing Sciences
L900 Others in Social studies
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Nursing, Midwifery and Health
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2018 08:30
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 12:48

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