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An international survey of assessment and treatment practice for discourse in paediatric ABI


Hill, E and Whitworth, A and Boyes, M and Claessen, M, An international survey of assessment and treatment practice for discourse in paediatric ABI, International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology pp. 1-12. ISSN 1754-9515 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1080/17549507.2022.2079724


Purpose:Guidelines recommend routine discourse assessment and treatment in paediatric acquired brain injury (ABI) but provide little guidance for clinical practice. The degree to which this has influenced the nature of discourse assessment and treatment in clinical practice has not been examined in detail.

Method: Speech-language pathologists working in paediatric ABI (clients aged <18 years) in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, the USA, Canada, and the Asia Pacific region were invited to complete a survey of discourse assessment and intervention practices (n = 77).

Result: Clinicians from Australia and New Zealand comprised over half of a responses (53%). The largest proportion had over 10 years’ experience (60%), worked in the metropolitan area (58%), and with secondary school-age children (64%). Routine discourse assessment was undertaken by 80% of respondents, focussing on a limited range of genres. No preferred intervention approach was identified. One-quarter of clinicians routinely considered holistic factors during clinical decision-making. Limited normative data and treatment evidence, insufficient time and training were identified as clinical barriers.

Conclusion: Assessment practices were consistent with guidelines, yet interventions were highly variable, reflecting limited evidence, client heterogeneity, time constraints, and limited training. A biopsychosocial approach to practice was evident, yet a focus on impairment level factors was prominent. Findings support the need for standardised discourse assessment and discourse intervention methods. Translation into practice guidelines would promote consistency and confidence in clinical practice.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:discourse, assessment, treatment
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Allied health and rehabilitation science
Research Field:Speech pathology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Allied health therapies (excl. mental health services)
UTAS Author:Whitworth, A (Professor Anne Whitworth)
ID Code:154784
Year Published:2022
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2023-01-06
Last Modified:2023-01-18

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