“A way to think of the client holistically”: Factors influencing speech-language pathology students’ ICF regard and uptake [Version 2]

Ingrid Scholten, Kate Ross, Jane Bickford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Adoption of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) may facilitate holistic delivery of health and social care and improve interprofessional practice, however there is limited uptake across the spectrum of health professions, including speech-language pathology (SLP). Improved commitment will partially depend on student education, yet related educational research is scant.
Method
In order to inform teaching, learning and future research practices, this exploratory mixed methods investigation surveyed 101 student speech-language pathologists to describe how the ICF is regarded and used, and factors contributing to its acceptance.
Results
As with their professional colleagues, SLP student uptake of the ICF was limited. Those who used the ICF applied the framework and terminology alone, rather than its classification, coding or core set features, for client-centred rather than management tasks. Similarly, students appreciated the ICF for its ability to foster holistic practice, rather than its capacity to enhance workplace communication, a key factor in interprofessional practice. Statistical analysis of responses to scaled survey questions revealed the most valued learning experiences, especially case studies, lectures, ICF application in university assignments and on placement. Survey responses were significantly influenced by two factors: number of student placements and whether or not students had only a paediatric placement. Thematic analysis of open responses revealed two principal and one secondary theme: “ICF framework as a way of thinking”; “experiential learning optimises application of the ICF”; and “rudimentary understanding restricts ICF uptake”.
Discussion
Findings are discussed in relation to a proposed Transition from Theory to Practice model. Explicit integration of a biopsychosocial approach to practice across the curriculum should result in deeper understanding of the ICF, increased ability to apply it to interprofessional practice and, importantly, a greater sense of agency to effect change.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalMedEd Publish
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

This has been published under Creative Commons "CC BY-SA 4.0" (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/)

Keywords

  • Biopsychosocial
  • Health professions
  • International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF)
  • Mixed methods
  • Speech-language pathology
  • Students
  • Survey

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