Original Research

Training, current practices and resources of a group of South African hospital-based speech-language therapists and audiologists working with patients living with HIV/AIDS

Emma Druck, Eleanor Ross
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 49, No 1 | a213 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v49i1.213 | © 2019 Emma Druck, Eleanor Ross | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 October 2016 | Published: 31 December 2002

About the author(s)

Emma Druck, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Eleanor Ross, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

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Abstract

The present study employed across-sectional survey research design to investigate the training, current practices, and resources of a sample of South African hospital-based speech-language therapists and audiologists (SLTs & As) working with persons living with HIV/AIDS. Questionnaires were mailed to 50 SLTs & As working in the major provincial hospitals in Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal, Free State and Western Cape, and responses were obtained from 40 therapists. Data from the questionnaire were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The findings indicated that persons with HIV/AIDS were becoming an increasing part of the caseloads of the SLTs & As who were surveyed. Investigation of participants' training knowledge, skills and confidence in the area of HIV/AIDS suggested that the group of SLTs & As surveyed did not perceive themselves to be adequately equipped to manage persons with HIV/AIDS. These findings highlight the need for improved undergraduate training of SLT & A students in the area of HIV/AIDS; more continuing professional development workshops on HIV/AIDS for qualified practitioners; better access to resources for SLTs & As working in the area; the formulation of a position statement on HIV/AIDS by SASLHA; and further research in this area.

Keywords

HIV/AIDS; training; practices; South African speech-language therapists and audiologists

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