Internet-Based Telehealth Assessment of Language Using the CELF–4 Purpose Telehealth has the potential to improve children’s access to speech-language pathology services. Validation of telehealth applications, including the assessment of childhood language disorders, is necessary for telehealth to become an accepted alternative mode of service provision. The aim of this study was to validate an Internet-based telehealth system for ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 2010
Internet-Based Telehealth Assessment of Language Using the CELF–4
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Monique C. Waite
    The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
  • Deborah G. Theodoros
    The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
  • Trevor G. Russell
    The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
  • Louise M. Cahill
    Royal Children’s Hospital, Brisbane, Australia
  • Contact author: Monique Waite, The University of Queensland, Division of Speech Pathology, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia. E-mail: m.waite@uq.edu.au.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Telepractice & Computer-Based Approaches / Language Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 2010
Internet-Based Telehealth Assessment of Language Using the CELF–4
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2010, Vol. 41, 445-458. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2009/08-0131)
History: Received December 23, 2008 , Revised July 13, 2009 , Accepted December 14, 2009
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, October 2010, Vol. 41, 445-458. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2009/08-0131)
History: Received December 23, 2008; Revised July 13, 2009; Accepted December 14, 2009
Web of Science® Times Cited: 17

Purpose Telehealth has the potential to improve children’s access to speech-language pathology services. Validation of telehealth applications, including the assessment of childhood language disorders, is necessary for telehealth to become an accepted alternative mode of service provision. The aim of this study was to validate an Internet-based telehealth system for assessing childhood language disorders.

Method Twenty-five children ages 5 to 9 years were assessed using the core language subtests of the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals—4th Edition (CELF–4; Semel, Wiig, & Secord, 2003). Each participant was simultaneously assessed online and face-to-face (FTF). Assessments were administered by either an online or an FTF speech-language pathologist (SLP), but were simultaneously rated by both SLPs.

Results No significant difference was found between the online and FTF total raw scores and scaled scores for each subtest. Weighted kappas revealed very good agreement on the individual items, total raw scores, scaled scores, core language score, and severity level. Intra- and interrater reliability were determined for a sample of online ratings, with intraclass correlation analysis revealing very good agreement on all measures.

Conclusion The results of this study support the validity and reliability of scoring the core language subtests of the CELF–4 via telehealth.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The authors gratefully acknowledge Roy Anderson for his assistance in software development; Jasmin Cowles, Chiara Wall, and Eva Loh for data collection; and Asad Khan for statistical advice. The authors also acknowledge the University of Queensland Health and Rehabilitation Clinics and the schools involved for assistance in participant recruitment. Thank you to all the children and their families for their time and enthusiasm in taking part in the study.
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