Understanding Dysphagia Care in the Community Setting

Howells, Simone R., Cornwell, Petrea L., Ward, Elizabeth C., and Kuipers, Pim (2019) Understanding Dysphagia Care in the Community Setting. Dysphagia, 34 (5). pp. 681-691.

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Abstract

Factors including health policy reform and the aging population are increasing demand for quality healthcare in the community. People with dysphagia are supported by speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in hospital and community settings; however, little is known about the nature of dysphagia services offered by SLPs in the community. The aim of this study was to investigate SLP services and practices provided to community-based adults with dysphagia. A national cohort (n = 144) of SLPs working with community-based clients with dysphagia completed an online survey. Results revealed that clients with neurological conditions comprised the largest proportion of the caseload. Primary referral sources were family doctors (42.4%) or other health professionals (37.5%), with low rates of self-referral. Services were primarily delivered via individual sessions (84.1%), usually within the client’s home (80% saw clients at home). While many clinicians were using both clinical and instrumental assessments, half had to refer clients to the other services to access instrumental assessment. Most provided assessment and rehabilitation services, though a few (28.5%) reported using formal outcome or quality-of-life measures. Only 43.8% referred or encouraged clients or caregivers to access support or social groups and a few SLPs incorporated social participation or client well-being aspects in treatment. Speech-language pathology (SLP) practices in the community appear similar to what occurs in the acute setting, which are inherently biomedical. This may not be optimal care for clients with dysphagia who live at home and their caregivers. Further exploration about what clients and caregivers want from community-based SLP services is warranted.

Item ID: 74212
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1432-0460
Keywords: Clinician practices, Community, Deglutition, Deglutition disorders, Dysphagia
Copyright Information: © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019
Date Deposited: 19 May 2022 01:51
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4201 Allied health and rehabilitation science > 420110 Speech pathology @ 50%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420305 Health and community services @ 50%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2003 Provision of health and support services > 200302 Community health care @ 40%
20 HEALTH > 2003 Provision of health and support services > 200301 Allied health therapies (excl. mental health services) @ 60%
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