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SLP MCI survey (Lanzi et al., 2022)

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posted on 2022-05-23, 22:22 authored by Alyssa M. Lanzi, Anna K. Saylor, Matthew L. Cohen

Purpose: As the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) continues to rise, there is a need for interventions that focus on risk reduction and early disease management. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) can contribute to risk reduction efforts and deliver cognitive interventions; however, the nature and frequency of current clinical practice in those areas is unclear. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to conduct an exploratory survey of the cognitive-communication practices and needs of SLPs for adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and early-stage dementia from AD, to inform future research and clinical training efforts. 

Method: SLPs completed an online survey that assessed five areas of practice specific to cognitive-communication and MCI and early-stage dementia: (a) education and training, (b) MCI subtype knowledge and consideration, (c) goals and treatment practices, (d) assessment of everyday living skills, and (e) general clinical practices and needs.

Results: One hundred fifty-seven SLPs completed the survey and represented a range of practice experience. Results revealed a discrepancy between the number of SLPs who provide services to adults with MCI or early-stage dementia and those who have received formal training to do so, suggesting a reliance on clinical practice experience. Participants primarily reported using interview and informal methods to assess daily activities and often described using compensatory-based treatments.

Conclusions: These findings contribute to the limited knowledge about SLPs’ cognitive-communication practices to help improve early-disease management for AD, a rapidly growing population in need of SLPs’ services. More research is needed to support SLPs in being maximally effective when working with clients early in the AD continuum.

Supplemental Material S1. Survey Codebook.

Supplemental Material S2. Cognitive-communication formal training.

Supplemental Material S3. Mild cognitive impairment or early-stage dementia formal training.

Supplemental Material S4. Assessment practices for everyday living skills.

Supplemental Material S5. Goals for MCI or early-stage dementia from AD.

Supplemental Material S6. Treatments for MCI or early-stage dementia from AD.

Supplemental Material S7. General clinical needs.

Lanzim A. M., Saylor, A. K., & Cohen, M. L. (2022). Survey results of speech-language pathologists working with cognitive-communication disorders: Improving practices for mild cognitive impairment and early-stage dementia from Alzheimer’s disease. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication.


This study was supported by an Institutional Development Award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences under Grant U54-GM104941 (Principal Investigator: Hicks). Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Aging of the National Institutes of Health under award number K23AG070185-01 (PI: Alyssa Lanzi).