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Kelly Williamson, Janet Preis, Ed.D., CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologists' Knowledge, Training, and Experiences in Trauma-Informed Care

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Given the established importance across professions to understand trauma and implement Trauma Informed Care (TIC), and the subsequent lack of information specific to communication sciences and disorders (CSD), this study intends to investigate the knowledge, training, and experience of American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) certified and clinical fellow (CF) speech-language pathologists as it relates to TIC. The following exploratory research questions will be posed:

1. Do speech-language pathologists currently in practice have knowledge of trauma and TIC?

2. What training and/or education have speech-language pathologists currently in practice received specific to trauma and TIC?

3. What is the experience of working with clients with trauma for speech-language pathologists currently in practice?

4. Is there a relationship between employment settings and/or populations and the knowledge and training related to trauma and TIC for speech-language pathologists currently in practice?

The inclusion criteria to participate in this study will be practicing SLPs in the United States either holding a current Certificate of Clinical Competence in the field of speech-language pathology (CCC-SLP) or are in the process of completing their clinical fellowship year. Fulfillment of inclusion criteria will be determined by self-reported information provided by respondents during survey completion. The criteria for this study will allow respondents’ knowledge and experience with trauma and TIC to be potentially generalized to the larger population of SLPs currently in practice. This research study will utilize a cross-sectional survey design where data are collected at one point in time from a sample selected to represent a larger population (Orlikoff, et al., 2015). This cross-sectional design will allow researchers to investigate SLPs’ knowledge, training, and experiences with trauma and TIC at a specific point in time, while also looking at the many characteristics of the survey participants (i.e., SLPs), such as demographics, years in practice, populations served, and the settings in which they work. The study employs mixed methods, using both quantitative and qualitative approaches, obtaining information from a pool of respondents by asking closed and open-ended survey questions. Descriptive statistics will include percentile and standard deviation for (a) demographic information, (b) knowledge, training, and influence of TIC, and

(c) clinical work with trauma (current or past clients). Inferential statistics will be conducted by using a Pearson’s chi-square test of association to examine the relationship between the categorical variables of employment setting, to the ratings of knowledge and training. Qualitative data obtained from the open-ended responses regarding recommendations for SLP training and support will be analyzed and interpreted using conventional content analysis, sorting responses into general themes.

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