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.
Article Information
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: Received February 28, 2006 , Revised June 11, 2007 , Accepted January 14, 2008
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2008, Vol. 17, 265-276. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2008/024)
History: Received February 28, 2006; Revised June 11, 2007; Accepted January 14, 2008
Web of Science® Times Cited: 4

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.

Acknowledgments
We are grateful to the members of the Tracheostomy Interest Group of Australia and all other SLPs involved for their participation in this study.
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