Article  |   April 2011
Dysphagia Management: A Survey of School-Based Speech-Language Pathologists in Vermont
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Tiffany L. Hutchins
    University of Vermont, Burlington
    University of Vermont, Burlington
  • Katherine W. Gerety
    University of Vermont, Burlington
    University of Vermont, Burlington
  • Moira Mulligan
    University of Vermont, Burlington
    University of Vermont, Burlington
  • Correspondence to Tiffany L. Hutchins: tiffany.hutchins@uvm.edu
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Shari Robertson
    Associate Editor: Shari Robertson×
  • © 2011 American Speech-Language-Hearing AssociationAmerican Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / School-Based Settings
Article   |   April 2011
Dysphagia Management: A Survey of School-Based Speech-Language Pathologists in Vermont
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2011, Vol. 42, 194-206. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2011/10-0057)
History: Received June 28, 2010 , Revised October 5, 2010 , Accepted January 6, 2011
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2011, Vol. 42, 194-206. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2011/10-0057)
History: Received June 28, 2010; Revised October 5, 2010; Accepted January 6, 2011

Purpose: This study (a) gathered information about the kinds of dysphagia management services school-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs) provide, (b) examined the attitudes of SLPs related to dysphagia management, (c) compared the responses of SLPs on the basis of their experience working in a medical setting, and (d) investigated the relationship between SLPs' training and their confidence to provide dysphagia services.

Method: Fifty-two school-based SLPs practicing in Vermont responded to a survey designed to gather information on the variables of interest.

Results: Respondents reported a low incidence of students requiring dysphagia services and SLPs providing a wide range of dysphagia services. Results indicated variability in attitudes related to dysphagia management, but trends were also evident. Chief among them were SLPs' low levels of confidence to provide dysphagia services and the need for additional training in dysphagia management. SLPs who had experience in a medical setting reported greater confidence to evaluate and treat students with dysphagia compared to those without experience in a medical setting. Relationships between a variety of previous training experiences and confidence to treat dysphagia were also revealed.

Conclusion: This study expanded previous research in this area. Factors accounting for our results, limitations, directions for future research, and implications for practice are discussed.

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