Date of Award
Master of Science
Communication Sciences and Disorders
Sabine Heuer, John Heilmann
Communication, Focus Group, Functional, Outcomes Measure, Participation, Speech Language Pathology
WHAT SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN A MEASURE OF COMMUNICATIVE PARTICIPATION? PERSPECTIVES OF SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGISTS
by Natalie Graceffa
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2017 Under the Supervision of Professor Dr. Shelley Lund
As the field has developed, speech-language pathologists (SLP) need to validate their therapies and prove, beyond clinical judgment, that their therapy is necessary and ethical. SLPs and other healthcare professionals must prove they are achieving positive outcomes with their treatment, and that the outcomes they set are appropriate for their patients and clients. To bring this validity to the treatment of health, the International Classification for Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) was created. The classification system described health as three different pieces: Body Function and Structure, Activities, and Participation. All three areas are vitally important to maintaining the full health of a person. Participation can be seen as the end outcomes, as they describe involvement in a situation or context. This is the ultimate goal of speech-language therapy, that an individual can participate appropriately in their environments. There are currently outcomes measures for Activity and Participation, but speech-language pathologists in the field have reported varying degrees of dissatisfaction with these measures.
To find out more about their dissatisfaction, the research team conducted online focus groups with 14 practicing speech-language pathologists in varying work settings. The transcripts were analyzed and coded with NVIVO software and themes were drawn out from the text. Overall, participants had primarily negative attitudes regarding outcomes measures. Participants also discussed the characteristics of their ideal functional communication outcomes measure and their needs in their current approach to assessment in their setting. Participants also discussed needs in the profession as a whole.
Graceffa, Natalie Kelly, "What Should Be Included in a Measure of Communicative Participation? Perspectives of Speech-language Pathologists" (2017). Theses and Dissertations. 1628.