Are Graduates in Speech-Language Pathology Prepared and Willing to Work With the Elderly?

Date of Graduation

Spring 1993


Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Committee Chair

Klaas Bakker


The need for more speech-language pathologists to provide services to the elderly population is becoming more evident as we approach the twenty-first century. This study explored whether or not preparation in coursework and clinical experience with the elderly is related to willingness of future clinicians to work with this growing segment of the population. A questionnaire consisting of 22 statements was sent to eight randomly selected speech-language pathology graduate programs. A total of 114 graduate students participated in the study. The results indicated that less than half of the students perceived that they were prepared to work with the elderly. Moreover, only a slightly larger percentage plan to work in settings where they would evaluate and treat elderly individuals. A disconcerting outcome of the present study was that the subjects generally did not prefer to work exclusively with the geriatric population despite the increasing numbers in the caseloads of practicing speech-language pathologists.

Subject Categories

Communication Sciences and Disorders


© Judith A Peavey