Introduction: The use of telepractice, a method of delivering services through telecommunications technologies that provides two-way, synchronous audio and video signals in real-time, is becoming increasingly commonplace in early childhood education and intervention for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Although the use of telepractice has been validated in the health sector as a viable and effective alternative to in-person service provision, evidence to support its use in the delivery of family-centred early intervention is still emerging. The purpose of this scoping review was to describe the current use of telepractice in the delivery of family-centred early childhood intervention for children who are deaf or hard of hearing, and their families. Method: The review followed the framework outlined by the Joanna Briggs Institute (2015), including an iterative three-step search strategy. Specific inclusion criteria and data extraction fields were outlined in advance. Results: A total of 23 peer-reviewed publications were included in the review. Most publications (70%) provided anecdotal evidence of the challenges and benefits associated with telepractice. The remaining publications (30%) reported on research studies evaluating the effectiveness of early intervention delivered through telepractice. Of the 23 included papers, 18 viewed the use of telepractice positively while the remaining 5 reported mixed conclusions and the need for more data. Discussion: Current evidence in the literature indicates that telepractice can be an effective model for delivering family-centred early intervention for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. However, more research is needed to substantiate the use of telepractice as a viable alternative to traditional in-person services, rather than being seen as supplemental to such services.
- deaf/hard of hearing
- early intervention