Speech-language pathologists and adult palliative care in Australia

Article


Chahda, Laura, Carey, Lindsay B., Mathisen, Bernice A. and Threats, Travis. 2021. "Speech-language pathologists and adult palliative care in Australia." International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. 23 (1), pp. 57 - 69. https://doi.org/10.1080/17549507.2020.1730966
Article Title

Speech-language pathologists and adult palliative care in Australia

ERA Journal ID8706
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsChahda, Laura, Carey, Lindsay B., Mathisen, Bernice A. and Threats, Travis
Journal TitleInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Journal Citation23 (1), pp. 57 - 69
Number of Pages14
Year2021
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN1441-7049
1742-9528
1754-9507
1754-9515
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/17549507.2020.1730966
Web Address (URL)https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17549507.2020.1730966
Abstract

Purpose: This research explored the role of Australian Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) to identify SLP experiences and practices regarding adult palliative care (PC) management. Method: Utilising mixed methods, phase one comprised a literature scoping review of SLP practices in PC. Phase two involved a survey compiling demographic data of Australian SLPs working in adult PC. Phase three involved in-depth interviews exploring SLP experiences in PC. Result: It was found that minimal resources or published literature existed regarding SLPs in PC, however the available literature indicated SLPs can be valuable and influential members of a PC team. Interviewed SLPs acknowledged their proficiency in end-of-life communication and swallowing, nevertheless initially they felt ill-prepared given insufficient knowledge or skills to manage palliative cases based upon their tertiary education and were poorly supported once in the field given a lack of clinical practice guidelines (CPGs). Participants also noted a lack of knowledge among medical, nursing and allied health clinicians about a SLP’s contribution to PC, causing barriers for SLPs being professionally accepted within palliative environments. Conclusion: Recommendations included the development of improved resources specifically about SLP practice in end-of-life care, the need for greater exposure at the tertiary level of SLP palliative care practices, and CPGs for SLPs working in adult palliative care.

Keywordscommunication; dysphagia; palliative care; speech-language pathology
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020420110. Speech pathology
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Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Melbourne
La Trobe University
Southern Cross University
Saint Louis University, United States
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