School-based SLPs and concussion (O’Brien et al., 2022)
Purpose: This study examines school-based speech-language pathologists’ (SLPs’) experience, knowledge, and confidence in supporting students as they return to the classroom following concussion, with a particular focus on knowledge of new management guidelines over the last decade.
Method: Participants were 74 school-based SLPs who completed an electronic survey about their knowledge and experiences serving students with concussion. We examined participants’ accuracy and confidence across knowledge questions using Kruskal–Wallis tests. We also conducted linear regression to explore the relationships between training, work experiences, knowledge, and confidence.
Results: Nearly half of participants who are currently working with students with concussion reported having no clinical or training experiences related to concussion. Participants who had more concussion-related training or working experiences reported higher confidence. Participants were confident about general concussion knowledge but less confident about providing assessment and supporting students with concussion as they returned to school. Participants had the lowest confidence and accuracy for the most recent guidelines around rest and activity, as well as the differential impact of concussion on children as compared to adults.
Conclusions: Many school-based SLPs have limited training around concussion management and are often not specifically consulted to work with students following concussion. Despite this, SLPs have good awareness of their knowledge about concussion, but show gaps in knowledge surrounding more recent evidence-based guidelines. Additional investigation is needed to determine better ways to move research into clinical practice and to increase the involvement of SLPs in school-based concussion teams.
Supplemental Material S1. Complete survey.
O'Brien, K. H., Lundine, J. P., Pei, Y., & Kemp, A. M. (2022). The school-based speech-language pathologist and students with concussion: An examination of evolving knowledge and confidence. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2022_AJSLP-21-00315