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Speech-language pathology: An interprofessional collaboration

Updated: Nov 28, 2022

Speech-language pathology is a collaborative discipline. The individuals who are referred to us very often present with complex profiles and needs that can only be addressed properly by teams of professionals working together. This reality has formally emerged as a process we now call ‘interprofessional collaborative practice’, or ‘IPCP’. It is a matrix of core ideals described originally by the World Health Organization. It consists of patient-inclusion, family centeredness, community-oriented care, and relationship-focused service delivery. It is process-oriented, outcome-driven, and above all, applicable through and across all disciplines and practice settings. This basic orientation is foundational to members of the American Speech–Language–Hearing Association (‘ASHA’), of which BreatheWorks is a member.

That IPCP is now the standard in speech-language-pathology is clear. A study this year in the Journal of Interprofessional Care (2022 Nov-Dec;36(6):801-809. doi: 10.1080/13561820.2022.2039106) has quantified speech-language pathologists' experiences of and preparation for interprofessional collaborative practice in diverse settings and locations across the United States. A research team from four university centers examined SLPs’ practical engagement in interprofessional collaborative practice, the professionals with whom they engage, their overall preparation for interprofessional collaborative practice, and any barriers that may exist to engaging in interprofessional collaborative practice.

Most speech-language respondents (59%) reported feeling prepared for interprofessional collaboration, and indicated that they indeed do engage routinely with other professionals, from disciplines as varied as nursing, occupational therapy, teaching, physical therapy, and school psychology. (This is absolutely our experience at BreatheWorks.) Their collective opinion was also that, to prepare trainees in speech-language pathology practice, there be on-the-job practica in learning about collaboration across these disciplines and others. We believe that professional course design will indeed, as it is already beginning to do, reflect this.

MyoNews from BreatheWorksTM is a report on trends and developments in oromyofunctional disorder and therapy. These updates are not intended as diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease or syndrome.

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