New textbook on family-centered care for speech-language pathology and audiology

By Amanda Farah Cox

A new textbook by Ida’s partners at The University of Queensland, Australia offers a primer in person-centered care. Patient and Family-Centered Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology takes a comprehensive look at managing a broad spectrum of communication disorders using a patient- and family-centered approach. 

The textbook, by Dr. Carly Meyer, Associate Professor Nerina Scarinci, and Professor Louise Hickson, treats person- and family-centered care as a foundational element of audiology and speech-language pathology and highlights the importance of introducing the concept to students early in their education.     

“The approach we used in the book is to reinforce the implementation of patient- and family-centered care across the entire rehabilitation journey with any patient and family member who has a communication difficulty, so rather than taking a disorder-based perspective, speech-language pathology and audiology students can apply the principles to any patient and family they are working with,” says Nerina. “We would encourage the use of this book by any academics who teach speech-language pathology or audiology students at any stage of their learning.”

The textbook references a number of Ida tools, including Goal Sharing for Partners, My World, Growing Up with Hearing Loss, Telecare, and Group. Because the book is aimed at both speech-language pathology and audiology students, its review of the tools looks at how the tools are used for pre-assessment and goal setting in treating a broader spectrum of communication disorders. It marks the first time Ida tools are officially being recommended for use in speech-language pathology, as well as audiology.

“Speech-language pathology and audiology have more in common than we think, especially given the nature of the patient population we work with – patients with communication difficulties and their family members,” Nerina confirms. “Although hearing loss represents only one type of communication disability, the impact of this on communication, and the way we work with patients with communication disorders and their families is very similar.”

Reflective practice also features heavily throughout the book, and there are activities for students in each chapter to help them build the skill, which Nerina, citing Baird and Winter, says should be practiced regularly and should be “deliberate and orderly.”

“Reflective practice is critical for speech-language pathology and audiology students in continually monitoring and adapting their clinical behaviour to enhance their own professional development and outcomes for patients and family members,” says Nerina. “It’s also important that students appreciate the value of reflective practice in openly considering and articulating their clinical reasoning. This association between reflection and clinical reasoning is necessary for maximizing patient and family outcomes.” 

Health literacy is also crucial to patient and family outcomes. The authors examine the value of health literacy from different angles, from legibility of fonts to the language that is used. As the students reading the book will be treating those with communication disorders, the emphasis is on clear and meaningful language. The final chapter of the book is dedicated to treating families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and how understanding different learning styles is important for promoting health literacy.

The textbook takes a contemporary blended learning approach. In addition to the reflective exercises, videos incorporated into each chapter bring in PCC experts from around the world, giving the textbook a global perspective.

Patient and Family-Centered Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology is available now through Thieme.