Predictors for AAC service provision (Johnson & Gohsman, 2023)
Purpose: At the core of the clinical services provided by a speech-language pathologist (SLP) is upholding the human right to communicate. Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) modalities support communication across environments by offering temporary or permanent solutions. Barriers to AAC service provision include translation of knowledge into clinical practice, which remains problematic despite changes to AAC preservice training addressing the knowledge barrier. This study aims to understand the importance of factors impacting the provision of AAC clinical services.
Method: From the survey data of SLPs (N = 530) regarding current AAC service delivery practices, barriers, and professional development preferences in the United States, a hierarchical multiple regression identified the importance between individual and clinical practice variables of knowledge and current use of AAC modalities. A binomial logistic regression predicted the probability of one or more independent variables for barriers to AAC service delivery and learning preferences for AAC-related professional development.
Results: The factors impacting SLPs’ knowledge and barriers to practice are related to clinical practicum experiences. Engagement in AAC-related continuing education (CE) is the primary contributor to the use of AAC service provision. Predictors for barriers to AAC clinical provision are associated with clinical practicum experiences, the average number of patients seen weekly, and geographic region. Preference for CE topics and frequency depend on the work setting.
Conclusions: Hands-on clinical practicum experience addresses opportunity barriers in AAC service provision, contributing explicitly to the value of collaboration in AAC service delivery and highlights the importance of evidence-based professional development content. The findings from this study are reassuring in that clinicians are using AAC and suggest that high-quality professional development is an effective means to address the gap between knowledge generation and translation in the field.
Supplemental Material S1. STROBE Statement—Checklist of items that should be included in reports of cross-sectional studies.
Johnson, R. K., & Gohsman, M. K. (2023). Predictors for augmentative and alternative communication clinical service provision: Closing the gap. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 32(4), 1532–1564. https://doi.org/10.1044/2023_AJSLP-22-00320