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A survey on the use of digital technologies among speech and language therapists (SLP’s)

 

DYNSEO conducted a survey of speech therapists to understand their needs for cognitive stimulation tools.

A big thanks to the speech and language therapists who responded to this survey. This allows us to build appropriate tools.

logopedista sofia-alzheimer-demenza-senior-giochi-di-memoria-anziani-sintomi-malattia-cognitivi-attivita-dynseo

As a speech therapist, what kind of conditions do you treat?

We asked SLPs to rank the conditions they treat in order of importance between dyslexia, language impairment, stroke, MCI and Alzheimer’s.

It is 55% language disorders that are most commonly treated.

 

 

Most commonly treated disorders

commonly treated disorders

Even though stroke is only 11%, 33% of SLPs put it in 2nd or 3rd place.

Here are the details concerning the management of each of the pathologies, the cognitive functions to be stimulated and how to do it.

 

Management of dyslexia

Dyslexia treatments by speech therapists

dyslexia treatment by slp

According to our speech therapists, the main cognitive functions to work on in dyslexia are:

  • Memory and attention, auditory and visual,
  • Executive functions,
  • Mental flexibility,
  • Planning and anticipation,
  • Evocation and fluency disorders,
  • Word memory, phonology,
  • Spelling lexicon and syntax.

Speech and language therapists agree that in the case of dyslexia, it is important to stimulate the desire to overcome the disorder in a joyful and cheerful way.

Management of laguage disorders

Language disorder treatments by speech therapists

Language Disorder By Slp 2, DYNSEO

Stroke treatment

Stroke disorder treatments by speech therapists

stroke disorder by slp

The most common functions to be rehabilitated post-stroke are:

  • Language,
  • Reading,
  • Transcription,
  • Memory,
  • Executive functions,
  • Syntax,
  • Lexicon,
  • Pragmatic,
  • Categorization,
  • And attention.

 

In a post-stroke situation, here are some ideas for retraining cognitive functions:

  • To bring out verbal knowledge and skills,
  • To represent real-life situations in the ecological environment,
  • To carry out systematic exercises as well as practical exercises,
  • To stimulate the working memory,
  • To work on naming, designating, matching and inferring,
  • To work on organizational tasks by including intruders.

Management of memory disorders

Memory disorder treatments by speech therapists

memory disorder by slp

The main cognitive functions to work on in Alzheimer’s disease are:

  • Memory,
  • Attention,
  • Verbal comprehension,
  • Executive functions,
  • Language,
  • Praxis.

From the responses to the survey, it seems possible in Alzheimer’s disease to maintain the patient’s cognitive abilities, but it seems difficult to rehabilitate cognitive functions.

Attention, memorization and planning exercises are to be carried out with the patient while taking care not to infantilize him.

Finally, among the advice we have retained, maintaining the desire to communicate or to compensate for the short-term memory deficit is important. You can do so by using written or mental imagery.

What exercises or activities do you recommend to a patient in between speech therapy sessions?

 

Although the activities recommended by speech therapists are adapted to each patient, depending on their skills and disorders, the specialist interviewed gave us some very good ideas for cognitive stimulation exercises to do at home:

  • Exercises the patient has already done in the session, that they’ve mastered in order to train,
  • Reading the newspaper, doing crossword puzzles, learning short poems, writing recipes,
  • Word games, scrabble, board games,
  • Sound games.

As a speech therapist, how do you maintain the relation with your patients in-between sessions?

Most SLPs do not maintain contact with their patients in-between sessions. Some give preventive advice and recommendations; others maintain the link through a few emails.

What do you think of the use of tablet as a tool for cognitive stimulation?

50% of speech and language therapists think that the use of tablet as a tool for cognitive stimulation is a very good idea in the practice, whereas opinions are more mixed when it comes to at-home training.

Use Of Software At Practician Office, DYNSEO

Use of touchpads at home

Use Of Software At Home 1, DYNSEO

Use of touchpads at the practicians’ office

Do you know of any cognitive stimulation software on PC / Tablet?

The software that was quoted to us are those of the companies Happyneurons, Gerip and DYNSEO.

Do you use them?

84% of SLPs use cognitive stimulation software on PCs and tablets.

Grafici 1 1, DYNSEO

How often?

20% of the SLTs surveyed use cognitive stimulation software very often and 60% sometimes.

Frequency Use Cognitive Stimulation Apps 1, DYNSEO

What are the advantages of cognitive stimulation softwares in speech therapy?

 

Here is a list of the advantages and benefits of using such softwares on a tablet:

  • The mobile tool is light and responsive,
  • It is easy to use compared to a PC: the absence of a mouse makes face-to-face use possible,
  • It has advantages over paper: it takes time into account and allows the creation of dynamic exercises,
  • The exercises offered are varied,
  • It can be used during interventions at home,
  • The exercises can be done at home in-between sessions as a supplement,
  • The support is very attractive for some patients,
  • Finally, the tool allows for the automation of skills through regular training, particularly in the case of dyslexia.

What are the weaknesses in the use of tablet-based cognitive stimulation software by SLPs?

Here are the different weaker points that have been reported to us:

  • The existing software does not allow to record personal data and to follow the evolution  of a person on the exercises carried out,
  • The exercises are not always customizable enough.

In addition, some obstacles to the use of tablet must be taken into account, in particular the fact that the touch screen can be a hurdle, particularly within the framework of re-lateralization of the hand during a hemiplegia for example, or the visual fatigue that it can induce.

Would you use a program offering at-home memory games to your patients, which would allow you to monitor their performance and progress on the Internet?

 

50% of SLTs might use software to monitor their patients’ progress remotely, 10% would.

What price (in euros) would you be willing to pay for a subscription to such service (per month)?

 

The speech therapists surveyed would be willing to pay between 10 and 20 euros for a monthly subscription to a remote monitoring software.

We hope that the results of this survey have been of interest to you and we would like to thank all the speech therapists who responded to our survey!

 

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