Motor Learning Principles: Awareness and use by Speech and Language Therapists in their interventions for motor speech disorders
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Purpose: To investigate Speech and Language Therapists’ (SLTs) awareness and use of Motor Learning Principles (MLPs) and the variables influencing these. Method: Single-method design utilising an online questionnaire to gather quantitative data from 38 SLTs across the UK. Results: The majority of participants have a moderate level of awareness and use of MLPs, regardless of their level of training or experience as clinicians. A statistically significant difference was found between adult and paediatric therapists, with paediatric SLTs self-rating their awareness and use of MLPs higher compared with adults. Intensive practice was the principle SLTs were most aware of. Massed practice was the least known, least used and deemed least beneficial. The most used principle was knowledge of performance. Other variables which may influence awareness and use of MLPs, such as sparseness of information, time and service constraints, preference for functional therapy and perceptions of the limitations of MLPs, were raised in qualitative comments by some participants. Conclusion: Findings show that awareness and use of MLPs amongst speech therapists is moderate and thus could be increased. Paediatric therapists appear to have a higher level of awareness and use of MLPs compared with adult therapists. Future studies need to explore why the awareness and use of MLPs is only moderate and why there appears to be a difference between paediatric and adult therapists. Additionally, how and if SLTs access the latest research findings is vital and is another direction for future studies.
B.S.c.(Hons) Speech and Language Therapy
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