Speech and Language Therapy and Dietetic students’ perceptions of inter-professional roles in a stroke team
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background: Dietitians and Speech and Language Therapists are essential stroke team members, however limited understanding of each other’s roles can act as a barrier to effective team working. Aim: The aim of this study was to explore dietetics and Speech and Language Therapy students’ perceptions of each other’s roles within a stroke team and to gather their specific ideas of how their role perceptions could be improved. Methods & Procedures: A mixed methods approach was used. Two focus groups of final year postgraduate Dietetics students (4) and final year undergraduate Speech and Language Therapy students (4) were conducted. This data informed the design of a questionnaire which was then administered to final year Dietetics (20) and Speech and Language Therapy (20) students. Outcomes and Results: Dietetics students were aware of the SLT’s role in aphasia and dysphagia, but not in oral health and cognition. They also perceived that the SLT treats visual neglect (45%) and hemiplegia (35%). SLT students were aware of the dietitian’s role in managing artificial feeding and nutritional requirements; however 60% disagreed that the dietitian has a role in dysphagia management. 75% of students desired to improve their role awareness, specifically in their penultimate year of study. Clinical approaches to developing role awareness were preferred, with structured sessions favoured more than informal meetings and using their own initiative to develop role awareness. Conclusions & Implications: Results suggest students would benefit from inter-professional education at a pre-registration level, using realistic clinical scenarios to develop role awareness and avoid role confusion. Students should be encouraged to use their initiative to develop their learning to overcome the logistical challenges faced by education providers in the organisation of IPE.
B.Sc.(Hons) Speech and Language Therapy
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