Teletherapy for children with developmental disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines: A mixed-methods evaluation from the perspectives of parents and therapists

Kathlynne F. EGUIA, Catherine Mamaid CAPIO

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: As a response to the lockdown associated with COVID-19 in the Philippines, therapy services for children with developmental disorders shifted to telehealth (i.e., teletherapy). This study evaluated the delivery of teletherapy from the perspectives of parents and therapists.
Methods: Participants consisted of parents (n = 47) and therapists (n = 102) of children with developmental disorders who were receiving teletherapy during the lockdown. A mixed-methods triangulation design-convergence model was adopted; participants were invited to respond to an online survey with closed- and open-ended questions. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive and non-parametric inferential tests, while qualitative data were examined using thematic analysis.
Results: Overall satisfaction with teletherapy was positive, with parents reporting significantly higher satisfaction compared to therapists. Satisfaction was positively associated with the frequency of teletherapy sessions for parents, and with their years of experience for therapists. The top enabling factors were family participation and effective communication. The main challenges were time constraints and difficulty with instruction and monitoring associated with the two-dimensional nature of teletherapy. The benefits included parents’ empowerment and enhanced understanding of their children’s needs.
Discussion: Delivery of teletherapy was enabled by a heightened focus on family-centered care. The evaluation findings suggest that the general satisfaction with teletherapy and the benefits associated with family-centered care would potentially promote teletherapy as a service delivery mode to continue beyond the pandemic. Copyright © This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChild: Care, Health and Development
Early online date12 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jan 2022

Citation

Eguia, K. F., & Capio, C. M. (2022). Teletherapy for children with developmental disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines: A mixed-methods evaluation from the perspectives of parents and therapists. Child: Care, Health and Development. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/cch.12965

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Telehealth
  • Developmental disorders
  • Children

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