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Patient Satisfaction with Virtual vs In-Person Voice Therapy

      Abstract

      Objective

      To determine whether there is a difference in patient satisfaction between in-person and virtual voice therapy.

      Methods

      Patient satisfaction answers to the National Research Corporation (NRC) Health patient survey were retrieved for two separate 11 month periods. The first was for an in-person cohort, from April 2019 to February 2020. The second was for a virtual cohort between April 2020 and February 2021. Two group t tests or Wilcoxon rank sum tests were used to compare responses between the in-person and virtual cohorts. The effect of modality of therapy by gender, age, and race was examined by testing interactions with separate ANOVA models.

      Results

      Responses were compared between 224 patient satisfaction surveys for the virtual cohort and 309 patient satisfaction surveys for the in-person cohort. Overall, responses were highly favorable in all categories. There were no differences between the in-person and virtual cohorts’ responses with respect to three main categories: likelihood of future referral of clinic or provider; communication with provider; and comprehension of the treatment plan. The interaction between modality of therapy delivery and age was significant for the question, “Did you know what to do after your visit,” with 18-44 year olds in the in-person group reporting a better understanding of the treatment plan compared to the 18-44 year olds in the virtual therapy cohort (P = 0.004). There were no interactions between modality of therapy and gender, or race.

      Conclusion

      Virtual delivery of voice therapy was associated with comparable visit satisfaction scores to in-person delivery, with both delivery modalities demonstrating very high satisfaction. Future studies are needed to identify which patients and conditions are most suited for virtual versus in-person delivery of speech-language pathology services in voice clinics.

      Key Words

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