Publication Date

Spring 2016

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Jo Shackelford (Director), Lauren Bland, and Barbara Brindle

Degree Program

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Degree Type

Master of Science


This study was developed to investigate the readiness or willingness of providers, speech language therapists (SLPs), and patients to participate in telepractice for speech-language therapy services in rural areas of Nevada. Nevada has not ranked high in healthcare for several years and was noted to have low SLP to patient ratios, especially in rural areas of Nevada. A thorough literature review identified international and national studies that have shown resistance to telepractice expressed by patients and providers, but it has also shown an increase in interest post telepractice therapy. Nevada does not have current research on readiness to participate in telepractice medical settings of rural areas of Nevada, therefore a survey was developed to ask providers and patients for their opinions about participating in telepractice. Providers were selected using an online directory search, and patient participants were chosen at the discretion of the providers. A unique survey was presented to each type of participant (provider or patient) in order to compare opinions and readiness of each participant type. Specific questions related to voice and swallowing disorders were addressed. A large sample size was not obtained, but the researcher was able to make some associations to readiness to participate in telepractice and possible factors that may or may not have affected a participant’s opinion. Age of participants, type of internet used, availability of webcam, and area of the state did not appear to have an association with the readiness to participate in telepractice. A positive response rate to engaging in telepractice of 40% was noted across patients and providers. Though the participant sample size was small, there is still some indication that telepractice could be used to address the needs of patients who need speech-language therapy services in rural areas of Nevada.


Communication Sciences and Disorders | Speech and Hearing Science | Speech Pathology and Audiology