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Practical Thoughts Blog

Can I use the OASES via telepractice? (Yes!)

Can I use the OASES via telepractice? (Yes!)

As we all learn how to navigate this new digital world, I have received many questions about whether it is possible to use the OASES (Overall Assessment of the Speaker's Experience of Stuttering) remotely or via telepractice.

The short answer is "YES," but here are a few more details. There are 3 main ways that this can be done: 

The lowest-tech option is to simply mail the form to the client to fill out, like we all used to do in the old days when we had paper intake forms. The client can then mail it back or just snap a photo of the response form and return it to you via secure email or whatever secure online communication system you're using. During this period of time, I am also generally okay with people sending clients a scan or picture of the form, though it is important to recognize that this counts as a use of the form. (You can't just use photos to get extra copies of the OASES, just like you can't use photocopies.)

Another low-tech option is to administer the items verbally during an online session and just mark the answers on a response form. This is particularly useful for the younger ones completing the OASES-S (esp. ages 7 and 8) because it can be helpful to go through the items with them anyway. I always go through the responses, even with my adult clients, so it's no problem to do this with them--and this actually helps me with treatment planning.

A higher-tech option is to put the OASES online, but this is only an option if you have a secure online platform for collecting such data due to HIPAA/FERPA requirements. Note that Survey Monkey and Qualtrics are not for clinical data (only research with informed consent). At this point, I don't know of too many SLPs who have secure online systems for their intake forms. Many doctor's offices do, but individual SLP practices and people who are doing tele/remote work while their school is remote generally don’t. Many university clinics are setting this up, and that seems like a good idea to me, because it may be a while before we’re back to “normal,” whatever that is. Either way, having more options in the future will probably be better anyway.

If you do have access to a system like that (and only if you do), then we can set up a clinical license for you to be able to put the OASES online in that secure system, just like we do with the research licenses. More information is available here: https://stutteringtherapyresources.com/pages/oases-licenses.

Of course, every situation is unique, so if you are seeking to use the OASES via a digital platform, don't hesitate to reach out to us at info@StutteringTherapyResources.com, and we'll be happy to help.