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Speech and language therapy for primary progressive aphasia across the UK: A survey of current practice

Volkmer, A; Spector, A; Warren, JD; Beeke, S; (2019) Speech and language therapy for primary progressive aphasia across the UK: A survey of current practice. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders , 54 (6) pp. 914-926. 10.1111/1460-6984.12495. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) describes a heterogeneous group of language-led dementias. People with this type of dementia are increasingly being referred to speech and language therapy (SLT) services. Yet, there is a paucity of research evidence focusing on PPA interventions and little is known about SLT practice in terms of assessment and provision of intervention. AIMS: To survey the practices of SLTs in the areas of assessment and intervention for people with PPA. METHODS & PROCEDURES: A 37-item, pilot-tested survey was distributed electronically through the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT), Clinical Excellence Networks (CENs) and social media networks. Survey items included questions on care pathways, assessment and intervention approaches, and future planning. Analysis was conducted using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis. OUTCOMES & RESULTS: A total of 105 SLTs completed the survey. Respondents reported more frequently using formal assessment tools designed for stroke-related aphasia than for dementia. Informal interviews were reportedly always used during assessment by almost 80% of respondents. Respondents were significantly more likely to use communication partner training than impairment-focused interventions. Goal attainment was the most commonly used outcome measure. Respondents provided 88 goal examples, which fell into six themes: communication aid; conversation; functional communication; impairment focused; specific strategy; and communication partner. Additionally, respondents reported addressing areas such as future deterioration in communication and cognition, decision-making and mental capacity, and driving. Ten (9.4%) respondents reported the existence of a care pathway for people with PPA within their service. CONCLUSIONS & IMPLICATIONS: This survey highlights the range of current PPA assessment and intervention practices in use by the respondents. Communication partner training is commonly used by the surveyed SLTs, despite the lack of research evidence examining its effectiveness for PPA. There is a need to develop evidence-based care pathways for people with PPA in order to advocate for further commissioning of clinical services.

Type: Article
Title: Speech and language therapy for primary progressive aphasia across the UK: A survey of current practice
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/1460-6984.12495
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/1460-6984.12495
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: assessment, primary progressive aphasia, speech and language therapy, survey, treatment
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Language and Cognition
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Neurodegenerative Diseases
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10079150
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