Share This

Evidence-based practice is often described as the integration of three sources of information to inform clinical practice, namely: 1) research evidence/practice guidelines; 2) client preferences/needs, and: 3) clinical experience. Speech and language therapists have reported a lack of time and inability to access evidence as significant barriers to using research evidence. Social media has, however, been described as an important tool for professional development, with Twitter being one of the most valued by speech and language therapists in the UK. In this study, the researcher explored which online and social media resources were used by US-based SLTs. They were interested in what speech and language therapists used social media for (professionally) and what they thought about social media as a tool. A 40-item survey was circulated to SLTs working in randomly-selected schools across Florida and Ohio as well as via social media; specifically Facebook groups for speech and language therapists. In total, 166 respondents completed 49% or more of the survey. Facebook, Pinterest, Blogs, the American Speech Hearing Association Communities and YouTube were the most common sources for online professional activity and were used around once weekly by respondents. Of the respondents, 71% used social media for ideas and resources for treatment, 33% for professional networking, and 33% used it to locate and read peer-reviewed articles. The main barriers to accessing evidence were identified as time, and a lack of training on evidence-based practice, with many respondents indicating they read only one or two journal articles per annum. Protecting time and resources, setting up journal clubs and discussing research evidence are essential to support evidence-based practice. However, social media may be an extremely useful tool for improving access to these tools for busy speech and language therapists. There is an urgent need to train speech and language therapists to use the evidence, as well as advocating for the dissemination of evidence through social media platforms.

Like, Comment, and Share: Speech- Language Pathologists’ Use of Social Media for Clinical Decision Making.
Diehm EA, Hall-Mills S.
Share This
Anna Volkmer

UCL, London, UK.

View Full Profile