Training and Self-Reported Confidence for Dysphagia Management Among Speech-Language Pathologists in the Schools Purpose The number of children requiring dysphagia management in the schools is increasing. This article reports survey findings relative to speech-language pathologists' (SLPs') training and self-rated confidence to treat children with swallowing and feeding disorders in the schools. Method Surveys were completed by 222 SLPs representing Virginia and ... Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum  |   April 01, 2008
Training and Self-Reported Confidence for Dysphagia Management Among Speech-Language Pathologists in the Schools
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Cynthia R. O’Donoghue
    James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
  • Ashli Dean-Claytor
    James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
  • Contact author: Cynthia O’Donoghue, 701 Carrier Drive, MSC4304, Communication Sciences and Disorders, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA 22804. E-mail: odonogcr@jmu.edu.
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / School-Based Settings / Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum   |   April 01, 2008
Training and Self-Reported Confidence for Dysphagia Management Among Speech-Language Pathologists in the Schools
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2008, Vol. 39, 192-198. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2008/019)
History: Received November 29, 2006 , Accepted April 13, 2007 , Revised November 28, 2007
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2008, Vol. 39, 192-198. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2008/019)
History: Received November 29, 2006; Accepted April 13, 2007; Revised November 28, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5

Purpose The number of children requiring dysphagia management in the schools is increasing. This article reports survey findings relative to speech-language pathologists' (SLPs') training and self-rated confidence to treat children with swallowing and feeding disorders in the schools.

Method Surveys were completed by 222 SLPs representing Virginia and its contiguous states. Queries on dysphagia training targeted formal education, on-the-job experiences, and current caseload information. In addition, participants self-rated their confidence to treat dysphagia.

Results Statistically significant relationships between training and self-confidence levels were demonstrated. Specifically, participation in continuing education and currency of educational activities revealed significant and moderately strong correlations to self-reported confidence to treat children with dysphagia in the school setting.

Conclusion Findings support continuing education as a correlate to self-reported confidence to treat dysphagia in the school setting among SLPs in Virginia and its contiguous states. Further research is merited to ascertain if these findings reflect national trends. Quantifiable, cost-effective, and evidenced-based dysphagia training, consultancy, and management models are needed if school-based SLPs are to meet the increasing challenges of their diverse caseloads.

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