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  4. MSc Projects with Celia Harding
About City

MSc Projects with Celia Harding

General research interests

  • Interventions to promote oral feeding in premature neonates
  • Interventions for congenital vs. acquired difficulties in paediatric dysphagia
  • Texture modification programmes for children with complex needs and dysphagia and their effectiveness
  • Long term oral motor and communication needs of ex-premature babies
  • Using AAC with people with profound disabilities 
  • Using adults with disabilities as communication trainers
  • User Involvement in student training
  • Sign linguistics in the learning disabled population

Suggested MSc Projects

  • Evaluating the communication competence of service users before and after training speech and language therapy students.

Using service users, patients and clients as teachers has been described as highly advantageous for student learning within the field of nursing, (Costello & Horne 2001). In addition, evaluations of such innovations in teaching have revealed dual benefits not just for the students, but for the service users themselves, (Beresford 1994; Glazier & May 1995; Rudman 1996; Wood & Wilson-Barnett 1999; Basset 1999; Hanson & Mitchell 2001).  Service users feel that they are experts regarding their needs or their condition and feel strongly that they are giving something back to students and helping them to develop into effective practitioners. This research aims to evaluate the use of service users in the training of speech and language therapy students and the impact on the students' learning in relation to disability awareness and recognition of the diversity of communication styles used by people with a range of communication disabilities.

  • Evaluation of strategies employed in paediatric dysphagia both with a normal population and with children with progressive muscle disorders.

The "slurp test" is used as a bulbar dysfunction marker, but has not been evaluated on a normal population. Neither have the implications of using the "slurp test" and outcomes with this clinical group has been evaluated. In addition, the Pat Saunders straw is often recommended for this group. Again, normalised data for use of this equipment compared to its target group has not been carried out.

Prevous MSc projects that I've supervised

  • How does gastrostomy impact on the life of a young person with a physical disability?
  • If paid carers of adults with learning disabilities attend a" Dysphagia Awareness Course", will the number of referrals for dysphagia increase?
  • Will extra speech and language therapy input from a teaching assistant improve the language development of children with difficulties within the autistic spectrum?
  • Retrospective case note study on the frequency and nature of feeding difficulties and dysphagia in children with syndromic craniosynostosis.

Key words

Paediatrics, dysphagia, learning disability, user involvement.