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Survey of UK speech and language therapists’ assessment and treatment practices for people with progressive dysarthria

Collis, J; Bloch, SJ; (2012) Survey of UK speech and language therapists’ assessment and treatment practices for people with progressive dysarthria. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders , 47 (6) 725 - 737. 10.1111/j.1460-6984.2012.00183.x. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Dysarthria knowledge is predominantly impairment-based. As a result, speech and language therapists (SLTs) have traditionally adopted impairment-focused management practices. However, guidance for best practice suggests that SLTs should consider the client holistically, including the impact of dysarthria beyond the impairment. Aims: To investigate the current assessment and treatment practices used by UK SLTs with clients with progressive dysarthria and to identify whether these satisfy the needs of SLTs in their everyday practice. To investigate the extent to which they consider oromotor abilities, intelligibility, functional communication, participation and interaction to be important regarding assessment and treatment decisions. To explore whether management decisions are affected by level of clinical experience or settings in which SLTs work. Methods & Procedures: An online survey of UK SLTs working with adults with progressive dysarthria. Outcomes & Results: A total of 119 SLTs completed the survey. Respondents considered that targeting the levels of impairment, activity and participation are important in the management of clients with progressive dysarthria, as recommended by clinical guidelines and recent research. However a particularly high proportion of respondents reported the use of impairment-based assessments. Respondents reported lacking the necessary tools to target interaction in assessment and intervention. The intervention that respondents use with clients varies according to the progressive disorder and dysarthria severity. There is evidence for a trend that less experienced SLTs and those working predominantly in hospital-based settings focus on the impairment, whereas more SLTs with more experience and those based in predominantly community-based settings look beyond the impairment. Conclusions & Implications: The values held by SLTs match guideline recommendations for best practice, however the clinical reality is that the assessment of progressive dysarthria remains predominantly impairment-focused. New tools need to be developed and integrated into practice to target interaction in assessment and intervention, to reduce the gap between best practice recommendations and clinical reality. Ongoing research into the effectiveness of SLT intervention with clients with progressive dysarthria is required to guide clinical management decisions.

Type: Article
Title: Survey of UK speech and language therapists’ assessment and treatment practices for people with progressive dysarthria
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/j.1460-6984.2012.00183.x
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-6984.2012.00183.x
Language: English
Additional information: �© 2012 Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. Full text made available to UCL Discovery by kind permission of Wiley.
Keywords: dysarthria, progressive neurological disorders, speech and language therapy, survey.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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 > Language and Cognition
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1330636
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