Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders


Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Hyejin Park

Second Advisor

Ying Hao

Third Advisor

Myriam Kornisch

Relational Format



Introduction: Tele-practice has become an important service delivery method, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic. A majority of research investigated effectiveness in therapeutic outcomes among children and adolescents, while tele-practice studies among people with aphasia were relatively limited. Rapport building may present more challenges in tele-practice compared to in-person services, yet no study compared it across the two therapy delivery approaches among people with aphasia.

Method: This current study conducted interviews regarding how rapport building is affected in tele-practice from speech-language pathologists (SLPs) who have experienced both in-person and tele-practice among people with aphasia. Nine SLPs were interviewed about their perceptions and strategies involved with rapport building in tele-practice compared to in-person therapy among people with aphasia. All nine participants completed an interview that lasted around 40-50 minutes that involved a 1-7 Likert rating scale (i.e., 1 = much less than in-person, 4 = same as in-person, 7 = much more than in-person) followed by open-ended questions that elaborated on participant’s ratings. Qualitative data were coded to emerging themes and quantitative data were calculated for mean and frequency of responses.

Results: Six themes emerged: (1) Consistent Perspectives toward Rapport Building, (2) Needs for New Resources for Rapport Building in Tele-practice, (3) Changes in Communication Styles or Strategies Due to Limited Interpersonal Connectivity in Tele-practice, (4) Providing Extra Training and Education as Part of Rapport Building, (5) Increased Communication Outside of Clinical Therapy to Enhance Rapport Building, and (6) Increased Comfort and Accessibility for Clients.

Conclusion: This study investigated the perceptions and strategies of SLPs on rapport building via tele-practice compared to in-person among people with aphasia. Participants were able to provide positive attitudes and strategies implemented in tele-practice sessions to build a strong rapport with clients who present aphasic deficits. Building rapport among people with aphasia via tele-practice has been seen to be just as effective as in-person.

Available for download on Thursday, August 15, 2024