Internet-Based Telehealth Assessment of Language Using the CELF–4

Monique C. Waite
Deborah G. Theodoros
Trevor G. Russell 

The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Louise M. Cahill 
Royal Children's Hospital, Brisbane, Australia

Contact author: Monique Waite, The University of Queensland, Division of Speech Pathology, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia. E-mail: m.waite@uq.edu.au.


Purpose: Telehealth has the potential to improve children's access to speech-language pathology services. Validation of telehealthapplications, including the assessment of childhood language disorders, is necessary for telehealth to become an accepted alternative mode of service provision. The aim of this study was to validate an Internet-based telehealth system for assessing childhood language disorders.

Method: Twenty-five children ages 5 to 9 years were assessed using the core language subtests of the Clinical Evaluation of LanguageFundamentals—4th Edition (CELF–4; Semel, Wiig, & Secord, 2003). Each participant was simultaneously assessed online and face-to-face (FTF). Assessments were administered by either an online or an FTF speech-language pathologist (SLP), but were simultaneously rated by both SLPs.

Results: No significant difference was found between the online and FTF total raw scores and scaled scores for each subtest. Weightedkappas revealed very good agreement on the individual items, total raw scores, scaled scores, core language score, and severity level. Intra- and interrater reliability were determined for a sample of online ratings, with intraclass correlation analysis revealing very good agreement on all measures.

Conclusion: The results of this study support the validity and reliability of scoring the core language subtests of the CELF–4 viatelehealth.


KEY WORDS: Internet-based, telehealth, telepractice, standardized language assessment


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