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A hotspot for contemporary SLP Practice: Using the iPad in Therapy with Adults

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  • This study examined whether the iPad and associated apps facilitates therapy with adults, and how it can be successfully integrated into speech-language pathology. Of the 28 participants in the study, 16 were clinicians and 12 were students in the MSc. Speech-Language Pathology program at the University of Alberta. The participants were divided into 11 Experienced and 18 Inexperienced users based on previous clinical use of the iPad with adults. All participants attended an Initial focus group, and although Experienced users were not required to attend, most participants attended a Learning session and a Final focus group. Data was analyzed using a mixed methods design. Focus group data was analyzed using qualitative summative content analysis, and descriptive data analysis was used to characterize the information from the App Rating Scale. Eight categories were outlined for participants during focus groups, and the ninth category, Need for Clinical Judgement emerged from the data alone. The data also showed a trajectory of clinician use of the iPad from non-users to emergent to integrated users, with differing barriers identified and uses employed at each stage. The data also showed some variations between Inexperienced and Experienced users, Initial and Final focus groups, and the preceding pediatric study and the current study. It was concluded that the iPad is a viable tool in speech-language pathology practice with clinicians, administration and app developers all having a role to play in maximizing use of this tool, and the profession must keep up with other healthcare professions as technology continues to permeate the healthcare field.

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    Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International