Speech pathology service delivery in the acute hospital setting

Document Type

Journal Article


Speech Pathology Australia


School of Medical and Health Sciences




Ferreira, D., Ciccone, N., Verheggen, A., & Godecke, E. (2016). Speech pathology service delivery in the acute hospital setting. Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology, 18(1), 19-22. Available here


Current research highlights the significance of providing early and intensive aphasia therapy to enhance communication gains. However, acute speech pathology service delivery in Australia does not consistently meet best practice standards recommended by the National Stroke Foundation for stroke management. This study aimed to investigate the amount and clinical focus of speech pathology services provided for patients with aphasia within an acute hospital setting. People admitted to an acute-care metropolitan Australian hospital with confirmed stroke were screened for aphasia using the Frenchay Aphasia Screening Test during a 5-week period. All speech pathology occasions of service were recorded during their inpatient stay. Thirty-one people were admitted with a confirmed stroke, 23 were screened for aphasia, and of the nine people with aphasia, eight were deemed eligible for therapy and received aphasia assessment. Four of these patients received aphasia therapy in the acute setting. Additionally, four of these individuals were assessed for dysphagia and of these two received treatment for dysphagia. While dysphagia management was compliant with national guidelines, speech pathology aphasia management was not delivered according to best clinical practice standards.

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