Descriptive survey on the practice patterns of Filipino speech-language pathologists on voice disorders

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Philippine Journal of Health Research and Development


Purpose: Filipino speech-language pathologists (SLPs) face challenges in applying evidence-based practice (EBP) due to lack of training, exposure, and experience. Without EBP being embedded in the educational curricula and clinical practice guidelines (CPGs), SLPs will continue to face barriers in providing evidencebased services. This study aimed to map the practice patterns of SLPs on voice disorders and benchmark these practices with international evidence-based practice guidelines.

Methodology: A cross-sectional descriptive survey design was used. Seventeen out of 61 (28%) Filipino SLPs with clinical experience in voice disorders responded to an online survey form. The form was composed of these sections: (1) Practice Profile, (2) Etiologies of Voice Disorders, (3) Case Study, and (4) Clinical Practice Perspectives. The quantitative and qualitative data sets were analyzed to obtain the practice profiles of SLPs and identify gaps in relation to established evidence-based practice patterns.

Results: The study revealed that 70% (n=12) of clinicians fall within five years of practice and work at hospitals. Majority of their clients are adults between 26 to 80 years old. On average, clinicians see one to two clients with voice disorders every week and hold around seven to nine voice therapy sessions prior to discharge. Structural pathologies were the most frequent etiology reported. Content analysis revealed that clinicians rely on the use of clinical experience and patient values for assessment and intervention of voice disorders.

Conclusion: The findings suggest that Filipino SLPs managing voice disorders predominantly rely on clinical experience and patient values for clinical decision-making. They sparsely use external evidence in assessment, differential diagnosis, and intervention which might compromise the quality of care. To ensure the best patient care, EBP needs to be incorporated in undergraduate education, professional development, and regulatory requirements of the Philippine Association of Speech Pathologists.

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