Collaboration between neuropsychologists and speech-language pathologists in rehabilitation settings
Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation
AuthorWertheimer, J. C.
Roebuck-Spencer, T. M.
Paul, D. R.
SourceJournal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation
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Objective: The purpose of this study was to understand the barriers and facilitators of communication and collaboration between speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and neuropsychologists (NPs) in rehabilitation settings. Method: Focus groups were held at 3 rehabilitation hospitals. Participants were a convenience sample and were considered representatives of acquired brain injury rehabilitation teams that include SLPs and NPs. There were a total of 28 SLPs and 10 NPs in the sample. The study used a semistructured interview guide for the focus group discussions, using questions centered on major areas known to be related to interdisciplinary collaboration. Written notes and audio recordings were analyzed for recurring and strongly stated themes. Results: Consistent themes emerged across focus groups, which included (1) structure of collaboration, (2) perceived roles of NPs and SLPs in assessment and intervention, (3) similarities and differences in training and philosophic perspectives, (4) barriers to successful collaboration, and (5) facilitators of collaboration. Conclusion: The SLPs and NPs valued the contributions of both professions in the management of patients with acquired brain injuries. Effective collaboration appeared to be influenced by several factors and is discussed. It was evident that effective communication was a key and powerful element in successful collaboration.