Investigating Clinical Risk Awareness in Speech Therapy Practice


speech and language therapy
clinical risk
rehabilitation, statistical survey
professional liability

How to Cite

Bua, A., Collovà, L. U., & Verlanti, G. (2024). Investigating Clinical Risk Awareness in Speech Therapy Practice. Journal of Advanced Health Care, 6(2).


Introduction: Clinical risk management in healthcare is the set of actions to improve the quality of care and ensure patient safety. In recent years, Italy has made progress in patient safety with the sentinel event reporting system, education and training, stakeholder engagement, and examination of legal and insurance issues. Error is unavoidable but should be considered as a "source of knowledge and improvement" to prevent repetition and ensure the safety of healthcare. However, there is no "zero risk" health care area and studies on risk management in rehabilitation are rare.
Methods: This study aims to analyze the presence of clinical risk in speech therapy, identifying the most common errors and possible causes. The research was conducted with a cross-sectional statistical survey, using questionnaires administered to speech therapists operating in three Italian regions (Veneto, Campania and Sicily). The study participants were both employed and self-employed speech therapists who worked in public, private, and contracted facilities.
The questionnaire consisted of two sections: the first collected demographic information about the participants, while the second focused on awareness of clinical risks and the frequency of specific errors. Respondents were asked questions about their knowledge of clinical risk in speech therapy, the frequency with which certain errors occur, and other errors they felt were important to report.
The survey results were collected and analyzed using Microsoft Access software and the results were analyzed to measure outcomes. The study sample consisted of 234 speech therapists.
Results: The results of the data analysis collected through Microsoft Access showed that most of the respondents (between 33% and 72%) often encountered errors in their clinical practice in various areas such as clinical evaluation of the patient's main problem, outcome measurement error, speech therapy argumentation, therapy, use of aids, respect for the patient, hygienic-sanitary standards, etc.
Conclusions: The study identified common errors in the clinical practice of speech therapists, including evaluation, treatment planning, and use of aids. These errors are important for the quality of care provided to patients and should be avoided through continuous education and evidence-based clinical practices. The research provides valuable information for the speech therapy community and future research should investigate the factors contributing to training gaps in clinical risk.
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