An international study of clinical education practices in speech-language pathology

Lyndal Sheepway, Michelle Lincoln, Leanne Togher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


This study identified the clinical placement and supervisory models used within 45 speech-language pathology professional preparation programs in seven English-speaking countries and the drivers influencing the adoption of these models. University personnel completed an on-line survey about the placement and supervisory models used in their programs, their opinions regarding the effectiveness of the models in developing student competency, and the factors influencing the adoption of different models. Responses from the survey were analysed through descriptive statistics and thematic analysis. "Traditional" placement models such as block and weekly placements, as well as traditional supervisory models utilizing a speech-language pathologist as supervisor in a 1:1 student-to-supervisor ratio were the most widely used in the clinical education of speech-language pathologists. "Non- traditional" models, where the overall structure of the practicum experience or the delivery of supervision within the practicum experience has been altered from the traditional models, were used with differing frequency across countries. The major influences on the adoption of non-traditional models included attitudes about the effectiveness of the models, availability of placements, standards of professional associations, and student learning outcomes, particularly in relation to exposure to clinical sub-groups. Further evidence regarding the effectiveness of both traditional and non-traditional placement and supervisory models needs to be developed. To develop this evidence, consistent terminology and a shared understanding of terminology needs to be established.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-185
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


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