Telepractice Treatment of Residual Rhotic Errors Using App-Based Biofeedback: A Pilot Study

Laura Peterson, Christian Savarese, Twylah Campbell, Zhigong Ma, Kenneth O. Simpson, Tara McAllister

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Although mobile apps are used extensively by speech-language pathologists, evidence for app-based treatments remains limited in quantity and quality. This study investigated the efficacy of app-based visual–acoustic biofeedback relative to nonbiofeedback treatment using a single-case randomization design. Because of COVID-19, all intervention was delivered via telepractice. Method: Participants were four children aged 9–10 years with residual errors affecting American English /ɹ/. Using a randomization design, individual sessions were randomly assigned to feature practice with or without biofeedback, all delivered using the speech app Speech Therapist’s App for /r/ Treatment. Progresswas assessed using blinded listener ratings of word probes administered at baseline, posttreatment, and immediately before and after each treatment session. Results: All participants showed a clinically significant response to the overall treatment package, with effect sizes ranging from moderate to very large. One participant showed a significant advantage for biofeedback over nonbiofeed-back treatment, although the order of treatment delivery poses a potential confound for interpretation in this case. Conclusions: While larger scale studies are needed, these results suggest that app-based treatment for residual errors can be effective when delivered via telepractice. These results are compatible with previous findings in the motor learning literature regarding the importance of treatment dose and the timing of feedback conditions. Supplemental Material:

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-274
Number of pages19
JournalLanguage, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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