Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts Degree In Speech-language Pathology Degree

Department

Communication Sciences And Disorders

First Advisor

Cox, Violet

Second Advisor

Emily St. Julian

Third Advisor

Anne Su

Abstract

Speech language pathologists (SLPs) working in medical settings often evaluate and treat individuals with dysphagia. When a patient with dysphagia is not safely receiving sufficient nutrients per oral, an alternative feeding method may be recommended especially for those with a neurological disorder. Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy is the most common enteral feeding method and is often recommended by the speech language pathologist. However, the role of the speech language pathologist treating these patients is not clearly defined in the literature. This qualitative study aims to better understand the role that the SLP plays in treating pediatrics and adults with alternative feeding methods, specifically percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tubes. To achieve this, a survey was sent to 67 medical SLPs across the country and asked them questions pertaining to the domain areas of demographics, PEG tube duration, PEG tube indicators, education, and counseling, as well as intervention. Results of the study presented as descriptive statistics suggest that there may be discrepancies between treating pediatric and adult patients with PEG tubes. Results also suggest that years of experience impacts some domain areas.

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