Speech and language disorders can be assessed over the internet
The monitoring and treatment of eye diseases that may cause blindness has taken a big leap forward, thanks to a new imaging technique that takes high quality colour photographs of the whole retina. Using the new technique called ‘TEFI’ (Topical Endoscopic Fundal Imaging), Professor Andrew Dick, David Copland and the team from the University
Full Post: New technique to watch for eye disease
There should be no barriers to providing high-quality speech pathology services, according to University of Queensland PhD graduate Dr Anne Hill.
Completed through UQ’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Dr Hill’s research found speech and language disorders could be validly and reliably assessed over the internet using a telerehabilitation application.
“Having worked clinically with people living with an acquired neurogenic communication disorder, I saw how frustrating it was for both the person with the communication disorder and the clinician if access to these services was restricted due to issues of caseload, distance or mobility issues,” she said.
“Telerehabilitation seems particularly well-suited to Australia, with our widely dispersed population and rural and remote communities.
“This form of service delivery may help alleviate some of the access problems experienced by those living in rural and remote areas, as well as the metropolitan population restricted by mobility issues.”
While Dr Hill was already won over by the potential benefits of telerehabilitation, she felt an academic investigation finding evidence of its success was important before introduction to the speech-language pathology profession.
Using a UQ-built telerehabilitation device, the study assessed 86 patients with various speech and language disorders, such as dysarthria, aphasia and apraxia of speech.
Each participant was also assessed using the traditional face-to-face method, allowing Dr Hill to gather comparative data and measure the validity and reliability of remote assessment.
“Two speech pathologists conducted simultaneous rating of the face-to-face and telerehabilitation assessment of the participants,” she said.
“One of the two speech pathologists was randomly assigned to lead the assessment, either in the telerehabilitation environment or the face-to-face environment, while the other speech pathologist became a silent scorer of the assessment in the alternative environment.
“This methodology allowed for the direct comparison between the telerehabilitation and face-to-face assessments, which is important in the development of evidence-based guidelines.
“Telerehabilitation has the potential to address the major issues of service delivery in future decades, such as resolving inequities in access to rehabilitation services and meeting the increased demand for services due to an expanding ageing population.
“Furthermore, telerehabilitation holds some promise for the further development of community-based chronic disease/disorder management protocols and providing cost-effective, functionally appropriate, high quality rehabilitation to all.
“The introduction of telerehabilitation to the profession of speech-language pathology unlocks an exciting new era of research which blends clinical and technological innovation to better understand and serve those living with a communication disorder.
“Future research will be limited only by our imagination in applying evolving technology to rehabilitation.”
Face-to-face and telephone follow-up sessions appear to be more effective in the maintenance of weight loss for women from rural communities compared with weight loss education alone, according to a report in the November 24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine. In addition, telephone counseling appears to be just as effective as face-to-to face counseling
Full Post: Telephone counseling may be as effective as face-to-face counseling in weight loss maintenance
Heart disease patients living in poorer areas of B.C. are up to twice as likely to die from chronic diseases than patients living in better-off areas, a University of British Columbia study has found. The research, released this week in the online journal Public Library of Science ONE , found coronary-artery disease patients living in
Full Post: Mortality rates higher for heart disease patients in neighbourhoods with poor socioeconomics status
Children of farm workers are three times as likely as all other children and almost twice as likely as other poor children to be uninsured, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Children of farm workers face a variety of health challenges, according to background information in
Full Post: Children of farm workers less likely to have health cover
While the rest of the world acknowledged World AIDS Day this week in a number of ways, Papua New Guinea (PNG) appears to be struggling to come to terms with the HIV/AIDS epidemic which threatens the population. Though PNG has the highest prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in the South Pacific, the Government has cut funding
Full Post: PNG struggling to come to terms with HIV/AIDS epidemic
Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Dr. Prabir Bhattacharya and his computers might. He and Concordia graduate student Abu Sayeed Sohail are developing a computer image processing system that detects and classifies human facial expressions. The aim of this system is to take and analyze photos of individuals, potentially in areas
Full Post: New image processing system detects and classifies human facial expressions