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Whose job is it? The role of speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists in supporting environmental alterations for people with Alzheimer's disease

Meyer, Jordan (2019) Whose job is it? The role of speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists in supporting environmental alterations for people with Alzheimer's disease. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Background
Speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists play important roles when caring for those with dementia. Therapeutic techniques for these individuals may be similar between professions, but goals may differ. It is important for professionals within interdisciplinary teams to understand their scopes of practice to ensure successful therapy without overstepping boundaries.
Research Questions
1. How do undergraduate students, graduate students, and clinicians perceive the roles of SLPs and OTs, especially when caring for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease?
2. How do undergraduate students, graduate students, and clinicians feel their education prepared them to work in an interdisciplinary team?

Method
An anonymous Qualtrics based survey was distributed to undergraduate students, graduate students, and clinicians who are pursuing a career in speech-language pathology or occupational therapy or currently practicing.

Results
We received responses from 12 undergraduate students, 10 graduate students, and 115 clinicians. Participants agree that SLP and OT scopes of practice overlap (undergraduate students 91%, graduate students 83%, clinicians 82%). Participants agree that there are parts of their scopes of practice which could belong to either field (undergraduate students 64%, graduate students 67%, clinicians 68%). Most participants agree that their education explained how SLPs and OTs work together in interdisciplinary teams (undergraduate students 91%, graduate students 83%, clinicians 65%) and that their education made them feel prepared to work in an interdisciplinary team (undergraduate students 91%, graduate students 83% clinicians 76%). When presented with a case scenario describing a therapeutic action, most clinicians agreed that the action could belong to either field (SLP 98%, OT 79%).

Conclusion
Participants recognize the overlap between SLPs and OTs, and they feel their education prepared them to work together. The education professionals receive should prepare them to not only work together but to predict and solve interprofessional conflict. Good communication within interdisciplinary teams helps address overlaps and differences in professional practice. Discrepancies about scope of practice boundaries still exist, evidenced by the results of the case scenario. Interdisciplinary team members should be aware that SLPs and OTs may want to implement the same therapeutic technique for an individual, but their therapeutic goals may differ.


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Details

Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Meyer, JordanJEM270@pitt.edujem2700000-0001-8803-7374
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorLeslie, Paulapaula.leslie@pitt.edupleslie0000-0002-0379-9044
Committee MemberLundblom, ErinLUNDBLOM@pitt.eduLUNDBLOM0000-0001-7902-968X
Committee MemberRodakowski, Juleenjur17@pitt.edujur170000-0002-6397-8124
Committee MemberRobinson, Monicamonica.robinson@osumc.edu
Date: 22 April 2019
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 18 February 2019
Approval Date: 22 April 2019
Submission Date: 29 March 2019
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 91
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Communication Science and Disorders
University Honors College
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Alzheimer's disease, speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, environmental alterations, turf war
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2019 16:07
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2019 16:07
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/36172

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