Purpose: To explore the acceptability of using ReaDySpeech, an online speech therapy programme for people with dysarthria after stroke, within usual clinical practice. This early clinical testing underpins future research evaluation of ReaDySpeech.
Methods: A prospective, observational design involving interviews with speech and language therapists with experience of using ReaDySpeech. This included the usability of ReaDySpeech, therapists’ training/support needs, ease of recruitment of therapist and patient participants, ReaDySpeech technical issues and therapy content. Therapists also provided feedback from the patient participants.
Results: Six therapists working in hospital and community-based settings used ReaDySpeech with five patients (12-28 weeks post-stroke, four female, mean age 71 years). Therapists found it was easy to use, training/support was sufficient and they reported positive feedback from participants. Areas to address involved patients’ access to Wi-Fi, ease of navigation, content improvements and difficulties recruiting people more than 12 weeks post-stroke as most patients had already been discharged.
Conclusions: ReaDySpeech was acceptable and generally feasible to use in clinical practice. This early phase research testing has been essential to improve navigation within the therapy software and content. ReaDySpeech can now be further evaluated with a phase two feasibility trial with earlier recruitment following stroke.