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Therapeutic relationship is considered a key component of many healthcare interventions, including speech and language therapy. Yet definitions and descriptions of what this concept comprises are ambiguous and sparse. This scoping review used the Joanna Briggs Institute guidelines to guide their search of seven databases and four grey literature databases. The researchers’ aim was to understand how therapeutic relationships are defined, how this relationship can be measured and what the key findings are from research in this field. Following a rigorous double screening process, 44 studies were identified for inclusion in the review. More than 50% of identified studies explored the experiences and views of speech and language therapists, clients and caregivers (n=32 papers). Most papers had been published in the last 10 years (44), demonstrating the development of research in this field. The first conceptual definition of therapeutic alliance comes from the psychotherapy field. Only one tool has been developed to measure therapeutic relationship when working with people with stroke aphasia, but further work is needed in this field to really understand how therapeutic relationships are established and maintained. Further research in this area is vital to help us understand the key ingredients of successful speech and language therapy.

Therapeutic relationships in speech-language pathology: A scoping review of empirical studies.
Hansen H, Erfmann K, Göldner J, et al.
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Anna Volkmer

UCL, London, UK.

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