Monique Hines, University of Sydney
Simone Dudley, Therapy Connect
Kim Bulkeley, University of Sydney
Sue Cameron, Therapy Connect
Michelle Lincoln, University of Sydney

Telepractice is the delivery of assessment and therapy services by linking allied health (AH) professionals to service users via technology such as web-based videoconferencing. Its potential to enhance service access for people with disability living in rural and remote areas has largely gone unrealised, due in part to assumptions about its suitability. We investigated the extent to which quality AH services can be provided via telepractice to children with disability and their families. A case study approach incorporating mixed methods was used to collect detailed information about the telepractice services delivered by an occupational therapist and speech pathologist to four children with disability and their families. Data analysis provided evidence that dispelled common concerns about telepractice. Services reflected contemporary, best practice approaches by demonstrating strong therapeutic relationships and employing collaborative coaching approaches. Neither lack of access to technology, nor skills with using technology, created insurmountable barriers. Our findings provide foundational evidence telepractice as a legitimate service delivery option within the NDIS. These results have been synthesised into practice guidelines and a short video, which aim to promote lifelong learning about telepractice and provide evidence that may help to dispel AH professionals’ and service users’ reluctance to adopt telepractice.

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