Australian speech-language pathologists’ knowledge and practice of radiation protection while performing videofluoroscopic swallowing studies
Warren-Forward, H, Mathisen, B, Best, S, Boxsell, P, Finlay, J, Heasman, A, Hodis, D, Morgan, C & Nixon, J 2008, 'Australian speech-language pathologists' knowledge and practice of radiation protection while performing videofluoroscopic swallowing studies', Dysphagia, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 371-377.
Publisher version available from:
During a videofluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS), speech and language pathologists (SLPs) are potentially exposed to radiation. To effectively limit unnecessary exposure, SLPs performing VFSS are encouraged to actively shield themselves and to be monitored by radiation-monitoring badges. The aim of this research was to assess the level of current knowledge and practice of radiation protection among SLPs performing this procedure. A questionnaire was distributed via Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) and the Australasian Dysphagia Newsletter (ADN). Sixty-nine questionnaires were returned. The results revealed that participants had received some radiation protection training, which provided them with general knowledge on radiation protection. Participants indicated a lack of formal education and were unsure of the adequacy of the information provided. Ninety-seven percent of participants always wore lead aprons, 76% always wore thyroid shields, and 36% wore radiation-monitoring badges. The researchers recommend that education on radiation protection and safety be provided for SLPs at university level to educate them before they enter the workplace. It is also recommended that SLPs always wear lead aprons, thyroid shields, and radiation-monitoring badges.