A Survey of Perceptions and Professional Boundaries Between Music Therapy and Speech-Language Pathology

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Fromius, Jennifer Rose
Music therapy; speech-language pathology; perceptions; collaboration; co-treatment; professional boundaries
thesis / dissertation description
The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between music therapists and speech-language pathologists in order to gain a better understanding of professional boundaries within each profession, frequency of co-treatment between the two professions, and perceptions of referral in clinical practice. Data for this research were collected through two online questionnaires with parallel sets of questions, which were distributed to a sample of boardcertified music therapists (MT-BC) and speech-language pathologists (CCC-SLP). Quantitative and qualitative data collected from the survey (N= 283; n = 45 MT-BC, n = 238 CCC-SLP) are analyzed to determine if there are correlations and thematic trends, and suggest that while collaborative treatment is occurring minimally in clinical practice (26.7%, n = 12 MT-BC; 4.6%, n = 11 SLP), there is agreement between the two professions regarding the belief that cotreatment can be effective (100%, n = 45 MT-BC; 74.8%, n = 178 SLP), and openness to referring a client for the other therapy (97.8%, n = 44 MT-BC; 89.1%, n = 212 SLP). The data appears to show some dissonance concerning having ever been consulted for collaboration (60.0%, n = 27 MT-BC; 1.3%, n = 27 SLP). Further research is recommended to explore factors that may impact the ability to co-treat in certain work settings, and how that may affect perceptions and boundaries in clinical practice between the two professions.