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2014-2015 | 43-44 EN | 125-137

Article title

Phoniatric evaluation of prospective speech therapy students – results, observations, comments


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This paper presents the results of the authors’ research concerning the suitability of candidates for speech therapy university studies and their prospective work as speech and language therapeutists (SLTs). This profession poses special requirements for candidates for speech therapists who work with children with various speech impediments and, therefore, must offer them a model of articulation to follow. Therefore, it is necessary to perform an evaluation of the physical capacity of the candidates for the profession of SLT before they start university studies in speech development. Such initial evaluation of the candidates is indispensable because it demonstrates their physical ability to acquire relevant skills and practice mandatory to possess by future SLTs. The material studied consisted of 60 subjects, mostly women between the ages of 18 and 24 from north-eastern Poland. The paper discusses anatomical defects frequently observed in the investigated subjects within the vocal tract and in the craniofacial region, as well as speech defects and their connection with articulation disorders and occlusion. It was found that only 26% of the candidates did not present any clinical and/or articulation deviations, while 74% of applicants for logopedics university training were found to have anatomical or articulatory defects. One person had phoniatric problems in the form of discrete hoarseness of the voice, but they do not constitute a contraindication for admission to study speech therapy and prospective practice of the SLT profession. Therefore, the authors emphasize that restricting the examination only to the phoniatric evaluation (obligatory for applicants for speech therapy university studies in Poland) is insufficient, because it does not include the correctness or accuracy of the bite or articulation. As has been demonstrated in our study, such problems subsequently lead to disqualifying the candidates from the SLT profession. Only a comprehensive phoniatric-orthodontic-speech therapy assessment that takes into account both the visual and auditory perceptive aspects of voice as well as individual speech sounds and their clusters can allow a meaningful assessment of the presence or absence of contraindications to practice as a speech and language therapist.






Physical description




  • Department of Otolaryngology and Maxillofacial Surgery, Clinical University Hospital in Olsztyn
  • University of Warmia and Mazury, Olsztyn
  • Department of Otolaryngology and Maxillofacial Surgery, Clinical University Hospital in Olsztyn
  • University of Warmia and Mazury, Olsztyn
  • Institute of English, Department of Phonetics and Phonology Maria Curie-Skłodowska University, Lublin


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