The perceived importance of anatomy and neuroanatomy in the practice of speech-language pathology

Sarah Martin, Nicola Bessell, Ingrid Scholten

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    The purpose of this study was to examine the application of anatomy and neuroanatomy knowledge to current practice of speech-language pathology (SLP), based on the perceptions of practicing SLPs, and to elicit information on participants' experiences of learning these subjects in their primary SLP degree with a view to inform potential curriculum development. A qualitative approach was taken to the collection of data. Eight practicing SLPs from four settings were interviewed. The critical incident technique, together with further probing, was used to elicit information. Interviews were transcribed and later thematically analyzed. This study found that knowledge of anatomy and neuroanatomy was perceived to be important by SLPs across all settings, to varying degrees, with a greater application in acute hospital settings. Negative experiences in studying this material were reported across all settings regardless of country of study. Participants discussed ways to increase students' motivation to learn this challenging material. Relevance of material demanded by students may be enhanced if active learning methods were used to teach anatomy/neuroanatomy, including case-based learning and with vertical and horizontal integration of material to provide a cohesive, spiral curriculum.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)28-37
    Number of pages10
    JournalAnatomical Sciences Education
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


    • Anatomical sciences education
    • Anatomy teaching
    • Curriculum development
    • Medical education
    • Neurosciences education
    • Teaching of neuroscience/neuroanatomy


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