Teletherapy for Children With Developmental Disorders During the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Philippines: A Mixed-Methods Evaluation From the Perspectives of Parents and Therapists

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As a response to the lockdown associated with COVID-19 in the Philippines, therapy services for children with developmental disorders shifted to telehealth (i.e., teletherapy). This study evaluated the delivery of teletherapy from the perspectives of parents and therapists.


Participants consisted of parents (n = 47) and therapists (n = 102) of children with developmental disorders who were receiving teletherapy during the lockdown. A mixed-methods triangulation design-convergence model was adopted; participants were invited to respond to an online survey with closed- and open-ended questions. Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive and non-parametric inferential tests, while qualitative data were examined using thematic analysis.


Overall satisfaction with teletherapy was positive, with parents reporting significantly higher satisfaction compared with therapists. Satisfaction was positively associated with the frequency of teletherapy sessions for parents and with their years of experience for therapists. The top enabling factors were family participation and effective communication. The main challenges were time constraints and difficulty with instruction and monitoring associated with the two-dimensional nature of teletherapy. The benefits included parents' empowerment and enhanced understanding of their children's needs.


Delivery of teletherapy was enabled by a heightened focus on family-centred care. The evaluation findings suggest that the general satisfaction with teletherapy and the benefits associated with family-centred care would potentially promote teletherapy as a service delivery mode to continue