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ERIC Number: EJ1201331
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1368-2822
Managing and Supporting Quality-of-Life Issues in Dysphagia: A Survey of Clinical Practice Patterns and Perspectives in the UK, Ireland and South Africa
Moloney, Jennifer; Walshe, Margaret
International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, v54 n1 p41-49 Jan-Feb 2019
Background: There is increasing recognition that dysphagia has significant implications for a person's psychological well-being, social participation and quality of life (QOL). However, a paucity of research exists regarding the clinical management of this area. To inform future research and the development of appropriate and beneficial resources and guidelines, a better understanding of the current practice of speech and language therapists (SLTs) in this area would be useful. This information will highlight current challenges to clinical practice and the ongoing development needs of the profession, which are, as of yet, undocumented. Aims: To determine the practices of SLTs when addressing QOL issues in individuals with dysphagia, the beliefs of SLTs regarding the impact of dysphagia on QOL, the current trends in assessing and managing QOL in dysphagia, and if variations in beliefs and practices in this area exist. Methods & Procedures: An anonymous cross-sectional, non-experimental survey study was used. The survey consisted of 18 questions exploring participants' beliefs and opinions regarding dysphagia and QOL, current clinical practice in the area, perceived facilitators and barriers, and education, training and development needs. The survey was created on Survey Monkey and disseminated by e-mail link to SLT professional bodies. Purposive and snowball sampling were used and participants self-selected based on the information provided alongside the e-mail link. Inclusion criteria for the study were a qualification in speech and language therapy, proficiency in the English language, and access to a computer with the internet. Outcomes & Results: A total of 148 SLTs working across the UK, Ireland and South Africa completed the survey. Over 90% of respondents believe that dysphagia has a negative impact on QOL, but only 25% are currently satisfied with the amount of clinical time they can dedicate to this area. Staffing, resources, a lack of best-practice guidelines and disease-specific QOL assessment tools were cited as contributing factors. A number of facilitators and barriers to best practice were also highlighted. Based on these findings, professional development actions for the future are suggested. Conclusions & Implications: SLTs believe they have an important role to play in supporting QOL issues in dysphagia. However, it is reported that the area is currently under-developed, under-resourced and under-supported. Increased awareness raising of the role of SLT, alongside the development of best-practice guidelines and disease-specific QOL assessment tools, will enhance the quality of care that can be offered in this area.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom; Ireland; South Africa