Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Special Education

Committee Member

Sarah M. Ginsberg, Ed.D., CCC-SLP

Committee Member

Bill P. Cupples, PhD., CCC-SLP

Committee Member

Flora Hoodin, PhD., LP


This qualitative research study explored speech-language pathologists’ (SLP) perceptions regarding their potential to influence patient adherence to dysphagia recommendations. Five SLPs holding the CCC-SLP were interviewed in an open-ended format, and the transcriptions of the interviews were the data for this study. The SLP interviews provided a glimpse into SLP interpretations of patients’ fears, concerns, and comprehension of their dysphagia and the recommendations they were given. The themes identified within the data were SLP education for patient and family, respect for patient decisions, SLP understanding of barriers to patient adherence to dysphagia recommendations, family buy-in and practical support, perpetuation of bad feelings toward SLPs, personality clashes, and provider continuity. After an analysis of the findings, the Health Belief Model (HBM) was posed as the framework through which the themes could be applied to improve therapeutic practice in SLP.