SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.67 issue1The use of diet modifications and third-party disability in adult dysphagia: The unforeseen burden of caregivers in an economically developing country author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand



Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • On index processSimilars in Google


South African Journal of Communication Disorders

On-line version ISSN 2225-4765
Print version ISSN 0379-8046


STONE, Jennifer et al. A retrospective review of speech-language therapy services provided to adult inpatients at a central-level hospital in Gauteng, South Africa. S. Afr. J. Commun. Disord. [online]. 2020, vol.67, n.1, pp.1-8. ISSN 2225-4765.

BACKGROUND: The quadruple burden of disease (BoD) and multimorbidity reflected in South Africa's public health sector challenges speech-language therapists (SLTs) to optimise patient management in this context. For planning and delivery of appropriate services, it is important to understand the profile of speech-language therapy (SLT) patients and the public healthcare services provided by SLTs. OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to describe the prevalence of inpatient adult speech, language and swallowing disorders associated with various medical conditions and South Africa's BoD, in addition to the target areas and duration of SLT interventions provided at a central public hospital. METHOD: A retrospective review was conducted on records of 2549 adult inpatients who received SLT services between January 2014 and December 2015 at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital. Data, including demographics, medical and SLT diagnoses, and treatment recommendations, were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. RESULTS: Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) were most prevalent (77.48%), with multimorbidity of BoD categories in 29.27% of patients. Cerebrovascular disease (CeVD) comprised 52.45% patients, with CeVD, traumatic brain injury, other neurological conditions, cancer and burns comprising 88.74% patients. More than a third of the patients with CeVD were < 56 years (n = 486; 36.35%). Dysphagia (48.96%), aphasia (30.95%) and dysarthria (23.62%) were the most common, with 44.68% of patients having multiple SLT diagnoses. The number of SLT sessions significantly correlated with SLT comorbidity (rs = 0.4200; p = 0.0000), but not BoD comorbidity (rs = 0.0049; p = 0.8058). CONCLUSION: Speech-language therapy patients reflected a heavy NCD burden and multimorbidity. Provision of SLT services should take into consideration a profile of increased complexity of medical conditions and SLT diagnoses.

Keywords : speech-language therapy; dysphagia; aphasia; dysarthria; intervention; burden of disease; multimorbidity; public healthcare.

        · text in English     · English ( pdf )


Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License