Conclusions and implications
The research studies summarised here present information about acceptable ways of interacting with families using telepractice. These insights help fill gaps in knowledge about the best ways to provide parenting support via telepractice, especially as we adjust to a post-COVID reality of increased reliance on telepractice in family support.
The family services sector could seek to improve parent acceptance of telepractice by addressing barriers associated with privacy concerns and use of technology, including by providing technological resources and guidance to parents on suitable home set-up for telepractice participation.
Our findings suggest that telepractice is well-received by parents in terms of satisfaction, usefulness, likeability and helpfulness, however, the type of service being delivered may be a key determinant of parent telepractice acceptance.
In some services, parents prefer the service provider to make physical assessments about their child’s functioning and development in an in-person setting. Parents also view some services (e.g. playgroups) as less conducive to telepractice, where social interaction is perceived as more effective in person.
Factors identified as key to the acceptance of telepractice include its convenience and the reduced travel and costs for families associated with this delivery mode, as well as having technology and resources readily available.
Many parents also indicated a preference for a blended model of care, including options to choose their mode of service delivery, or a combination of telepractice and in-person services.
Practices that facilitate and support practitioners and clients in their access to, training in, and use of technology, were widely endorsed.
There was also a focus on equitable access, privacy, security and safety concerns as well as appropriate organisational support for practitioners.
Another area of strong consensus was the use and implementation of synchronous and asynchronous services as a hybrid model of delivery, and that websites, videos and online activities be embedded within the session or made available as additional home-based strategies.
Methods to support engagement and access to telepractice services for culturally and linguistically diverse communities also found wide consensus.
These findings show that parents would like options for accessing family services via both telepractice and in-person delivery, and that these preferences are dependent on service type, but also on convenience and increasing familiarity with computer-assisted communication.
This has implications for designing and implementing family support services via a blended model of telepractice and in-person care.
Back to top