No AccessAmerican Journal of Speech-Language PathologyResearch Article19 Nov 2019

Speech-Language Pathologists' Comfort Providing Intervention to Children With Traumatic Brain Injury: Results From a National Survey

    Purpose

    This exploratory study examined speech-language pathologists' (SLPs) clinical experience and work environment characteristics impacting comfort with providing intervention to children with traumatic brain injury (TBI).

    Method

    This study included 162 SLPs who responded to a national survey about their comfort providing intervention to children with TBI, clinical experience (i.e., years of experience treating children with TBI, TBI preprofessional training and professional development, and licensure/credentialing), and work environment (i.e., work setting, caseload size, geographic location).

    Results

    Findings from latent class analysis revealed 3 distinct groups of SLPs based on their comfort with providing services to children with TBI: those with low comfort, moderate comfort, and high comfort. Further analyses revealed statistically significant differences across the 3 groups in the areas of years of experience treating children with TBI, professional development, work setting, TBI caseload size, and geographic location.

    Conclusions

    Our findings reveal that most SLPs feel comfortable providing intervention to children with TBI; however, differences in characteristics across groups suggest that specific steps can be taken to ensure increased comfort for all SLPs working with this population. Practicing SLPs may increase their level of comfort through professional development and hands-on, mentored experience with TBI. Efforts such as these may influence the quality of service provision and expand the population of SLPs who feel comfortable treating children with TBI. Future research is needed to further examine how comfort and SLP characteristics directly impact the quality of speech and language intervention and long-term outcomes of children with TBI.

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