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Contributions to the Professional Profile of Speech-Language Pathologists in the area of Sleep Medicine
Currently, we observe an increase in the participation of speech-language pathologists in the sleep area.
the objective of this study was to contribute to information about the professional profile of the speech therapist, regarding their area of expertise, specialty, as well as their interest with the positive airway pressure equipment (CPAP/PAP).
This study was conducted through an online questionnaire survey sent to the main groups of studies in sleep speech therapy in Brazil.
A number of 44 speech therapists related to different specialties answered it: 73% orofacial myofunctional therapy, 22% neurofunctional, 16% language, 11% audiology, 5% voice, and 16% other specialties. The practice in the therapeutic area had the highest performance index and the lowest one in the hearing area. More than 80% of them operate in the São Paulo state and the others are distributed among other states. Most of the participants (91%) consider it important for the speech therapist to have knowledge about how to adjust the PAP and 96% suggest myotherapy exercises in order to help the PAP acceptance process. Speech therapists working with snoring and apnea need knowledge of how to adjust PAP and 27% work directly with PAP equipment. They have all completed either a specific training course to assist with PAP adaptation, including counseling, supervision of other health professionals (12), trainings at companies providing PAP (7), Congresses (7), other speech therapists (6), internet courses (2), and others (2). 50% of all said they did not take any courses although they feel the need for acquiring knowledge about the subject. Among the activities performed in their care, in addition to myotherapy follow-up (24), it is performed the sleep hygiene (23), guidance on cleaning and use (10), chip reading and its reporting issue (9), (5) adjusting and marketing (4). As for treatment requests, it is the otorhinolaryngologists (23) who refer patients more often, followed by neurologists (12),cardiologists (9), orthodontists (2), and other professionals (14).
it was observed that in addition to the performance already recognized of the speech therapist in the snoring and apnea myotherapy area, this has also been helping in the fiting processes of PAP, indicating a new tendency for speech therapy within sleep medicine.
Speech-Language Pathologists , continuous positive airway pressure ; Obstrutive sleep apnea
CETMA - Sao Paulo - Brasil, UNIAUP - Sao Paulo - Brasil
CLAUDIA ARAUJO NAVARRO, MARCIA REGINA GAMA, ESTHER M GONÇALVES BIANCHINI