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.S Afr J Commun Disord 2002; 49:3-16SA
The present study employed a cross-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, Kwa Zulu 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.