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How does the use of telepractice during speech-language therapy affect the attention of children with hearing loss who received cochlear implants (CI) in comparison to in-person intervention? The study examined the production and comprehension of clinician’s speech in children with CIs (n = 5, mean age = 61.6 months, range = 34 months) during one 30 minute in-person session and one sequential tele-session, order counterbalanced. Child verbal, tactile, and visual actions were coded as correct, incorrect, off-task, and silence responses to the clinician’s and maternal speech. In production, correct responses were defined as the correct reproduction of the clinician’s/maternal target utterances; incorrect child response was defined as any other utterance following the clinician’s/maternal target utterances within 3 seconds; off-task child response was defined as being distracted; silence response was defined as child being silent. In comprehension, the same codes were used but including a child’s gestures and looking at the target object. Child’s production and comprehension responses (correct, incorrect, off-task, and silence) in tele- vs. in-person sessions were analyzed using the Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test. During clinician-child interaction, there were more correct responses in in-person than tele-sessions in comprehension. During mother-child interaction, there were more correct responses in tele- than in-person sessions in both production and comprehension. These results suggest that the child’s attention in comprehension and production, as demonstrated by the occurrence of correct responses, is dependent on the type of therapy.

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telehealth, telemedicine, attention, cochlear implants



Attention in Children with Hearing Loss during Telepractice and In-person Speech Language Therapy

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