Research  |   August 2008
Preparation, Clinical Support, and Confidence of Speech-Language Pathologists Managing Clients With a Tracheostomy in Australia
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Elizabeth Ward
    The University of Queensland, Australia
  • Emma Agius
    The University of Queensland, Australia
  • Maura Solley
    Princess Alexandra Hospital, Queensland, Australia
  • Petrea Cornwell
    The University of Queensland, and Princess Alexandra Hospital
  • Claire Jones
    The University of Queensland
  • Contact author: Elizabeth Ward, Division of Speech Pathology, Therapies Building, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, 4072 Australia. E-mail: liz.ward@uq.edu.au.
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / International & Global
Research   |   August 2008
Preparation, Clinical Support, and Confidence of Speech-Language Pathologists Managing Clients With a Tracheostomy in Australia
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology August 2008, Vol.17, 265-276. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2008/024)
History: Accepted 14 Jan 2008 , Received 28 Feb 2006 , Revised 11 Jun 2007
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology August 2008, Vol.17, 265-276. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2008/024)
History: Accepted 14 Jan 2008 , Received 28 Feb 2006 , Revised 11 Jun 2007

Purpose: To describe the preparation and training, clinical support, and confidence of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in relation to tracheostomy client care in Australia.

Method: A survey was sent to 90 SLPs involved in tracheostomy management across Australia. The survey contained questions relating to preparation and training, clinical support, and confidence.

Results: The response rate was high (76%). The majority of SLPs were pursuing a range of professional development activities, had clinical support available, and felt confident providing care of clients with tracheostomies. Despite these findings, 45% of SLPs were not up-to-date with evidence-based practice, less than 30% were knowledgeable of the advances in tracheostomy tube technology, and only 16% felt they worked as part of an optimal team. Only half were confident and had clinical support for managing clients who were ventilated. Most (88%) believed additional training opportunities would be beneficial.

Conclusions: The current data highlight issues for health care facilities and education providers to address regarding the training and support needs of SLPs providing tracheostomy client care.

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