For stroke patients suffering with aphasia, speech therapy is an important practice in helping patients regain their ability to speak. The challenge however, comes from the inability to get adequate time with a therapist: due to mobility limitations of a patient and the schedules of therapists stretched thin, a therapist might have trouble scheduling enough time with their patient, either at their own office or the home of the patient. The strains that come from the inaccessibility of therapy for the patient might lead to decreased quality of life for the patient, who could be struggling with unemployment, depression, and frustration from their limited speech abilities.
A group of London therapists are therefore taking therapy to the virtual world, through video chatting.
Based on research by therapists in London, the data has shown that patients and therapists need not be in the same room physically. Instead, their research found that Skyping with patients to conduct their therapy produced the same results as traditional therapy at home or at a therapist's office.
Because the technology was relatively easy to use for patients, therapists and clients can conduct their sessions online, without the need for travel. Skyping provided more flexibility for both the patient and the doctor, which helps alleviate some of the constraints that come with traditional health services. While researchers are looking into the cost-effectiveness of a virtual therapy program, the results give hope to increasing accessibility to a fundamental therapy. Overall, stroke patients can look forward to receiving increased care, improving their communication skills over time.
Image courtesy of rvlsoft / Shutterstock.com
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