Type of Resources
Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) play a key role in serving children with cognitive-communication disorders in both medical and school settings. However, there remains little evidence regarding school-based SLPs’ service delivery for children following concussion or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and how they rate their confidence, knowledge, and skills providing these services. The purpose of this study was to examine knowledge, confidence levels, and practice patterns for providing services to pediatric students with mTBI among school-based SLPs. A 43- item survey was developed to assess current concussion knowledge, and to allow for comparison to previous and future surveys on knowledge, confidence, and management of brain injury across settings and severity. Surveys were distributed electronically to members of American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Special Interest Group 02: Neurogenic Communication Disorders and the Colorado Department of Education SLP listserv and school-based leaders in Florida, Virginia, and Pennsylvania were contacted to disseminate to their SLPs. A total of 185 respondents completed the survey across 13 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Texas. Results of the study demonstrated a mix of accurate and inaccurate knowledge. SLPs with more TBI experience reported increased levels of confidence and greater knowledge accuracy, however, overall confidence in providing clinical services to students with mTBI was low. The current sample was largely unfamiliar with recent changes to Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations regarding management of mTBI and was less likely to engage in training or continuing education for TBI. Findings of this study suggest that there is a need for increased training and education on service delivery of pediatric mTBI among SLPs and increased advocacy of the SLP’s role among brain injury teams to improve prevention, assessment, intervention, and follow-up practices.