Share This

Increasingly, speech and language therapists are being involved in end-of-life and palliative care. This study reports on a three-phase project to explore this in the context of the Australian healthcare system. In phase one, the authors described a scoping review of the current research literature in this area. Phase two comprised a survey of 65 speech and language therapists working in the area and, in phase three, 15 of the survey respondents participated in in-depth interviews exploring participants’ opinions, experiences and concerns. Thirteen articles were identified in the phase one scoping review, resulting in six key themes relating to the speech and language therapist’s role in palliative care. The survey respondents had upwards of six years’ experience, working across many different settings, with palliative care forming one component of their job role. The patients they were seeing in this setting most often had strokes, progressive neurological diseases and cancer. In-depth interviews were analysed using thematic analysis and four key themes identified. These directly influenced the development of a set of recommendations for incorporating speech and language therapists in palliative care in Australia. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, speech and language therapists are often working on the frontline with patients who may be considered palliative. It is therefore increasingly important to consider this less-traditional extension of the speech and language therapy role.

Speech-language pathologists and adult palliative care in Australia.
Chahda L, Carey LB, Mathisen BA, Threats T.
Share This
Anna Volkmer

UCL, London, UK.

View Full Profile