A Qualitative Study Exploring Parental Perceptions of Telehealth in Early Intervention

W. C. Cheung, J. Aleman-Tovar, A. N. Johnston, L. M. Little, M. M. Burke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using telehealth as a mode of service delivery has the potential to address some long-standing challenges in early intervention (EI) services such as waiting lists to access services. Yet, little is known about parent perceptions of telehealth in EI based on their lived experiences partnering with EI practitioners. The purpose of this study was to explore parent perceptions on using telehealth, especially on family-professional partnerships and coaching. Interviews were conducted with 15 parents of children receiving EI services via telehealth from June to August of 2021. Almost half of the participants reflected under-represented racial and ethnic backgrounds. Constant comparative analysis and emergent coding were used for data analysis. The findings showed that the advantages outnumbered the disadvantages regarding telehealth. Participants reported that telehealth provided a safe and flexible option and eliminated the wait to access EI services. However, participants identified some disadvantages to telehealth including telehealth precluded substantive interactions with therapists and limited access to technology. The findings also indicated that telehealth enhanced family-professional partnerships. Nearly all participants valued coaching during telehealth. Participants suggested initial supports to facilitate EI via telehealth, including stable internet access, telehealth training, and an initial in-person visit. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-373
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • Early intervention
  • Family
  • Perspective
  • Telehealth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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