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SPE3054 : Speech and Language Pathology III - B: Disorders of voice; motor speech and dementia

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Christos Salis
  • Lecturer: Dr Fiona Menger
  • Owning School: Education, Communication & Language Sci
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


This module equips students with knowledge base that underpins clinical management of progressive cognitive-communication impairments that are predominantly prevalent in older adults, motor speech disorders (in progressive and non-progressive aetiologies),as well as voice disorders& head/neck cancer. Across these disorders specific aims are as follows:

•       To be able to use knowledge of speech & language therapy to assess, work with people with acquired speech & language impairments, acquired cognitive impairments, voice impairments

•       To be able to evaluate the effects of communication difficulties on psychosocial wellbeing of service users affected by these disorders, their families & carers

•       To be able to apply knowledge of communication impairment, linguistics, phonetics, psychology & medical sciences to the identification, assessment & differential diagnosis of acquired speech, language & cognitive impairments as well as voice disorders

•       To identify the range of communication impairments that could occur in various types of dementia, motor speech disorders, voice & oropharyngeal surgery

•       To contrast different management approaches for mitigating communication impairments in disorders addressed in this module

•       To formulate assessment & treatment plans for addressing communication impairments in progressive cognitive-communication disorders, motor speech disorders as well as voice&other structural abnormalities of the vocal tract

•       To evaluate effectiveness of treatment plan at different levels of description & impact

•       To prepare students to work effectively with clients, their families and other members of the multi-disciplinary team in the assessment, care,& management of adults with these disorders, across different stages of the conditions, including palliative & end of life.

HCPC Standards of Proficiency (SoPs) this modules addresses:

2.7 understand the importance of and be able to obtain valid consent, which is voluntary, informed has due regard to capacity, is proportionate to the circumstances and is appropriately documented

2.8 understand the importance of capacity in the context of delivering care and treatment

5.1 respond appropriately to the needs of all different groups and individuals in practice, recognising that this can be affected by difference of any kind including, but not limited to protected characteristics, intersectional experiences and cultural differences

5.5 recognise the characteristics and consequences of barriers to inclusion, including for socially isolated groups

5.6 actively challenge these barriers, supporting the implementation of change wherever possible

5.7 recognise the regard to equality, diversity and inclusion needs to be embedded in the application of all HCPC standards, across all areas of practice

7.9 recognise the possible contribution of social, psychological and medical factors to service users’ communication difficulties and swallowing status

8.13 understand the role of the speech and language therapist in taking the lead responsibility on speech and language, communication and swallowing within a multi-professional forum

8.14 recognise that the need to work with others includes health, social care and educational professionals

8.15 recognise the importance of working in partnership with service users and their families

12.1 understand the structure and function of the human body, together with knowledge of physical and mental health, disease, impairment and dysfunction relevant to their profession

12.11 understand therapeutic contexts, models and processes relevant to the practice of speech and language therapy

12.12 understand developmental and acquired disorders of speech, language, communication and swallowing

Additionally, SOPs 13.15, 13.16, 13.17, 13.19 and 15.3 are addressed.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module has three components:

1. Progressive cognitive-communication disorders

•       Overview of cognitive, sensory and other changes as a result of ageing
•       Overview of progressive cognitive disorders (mild cognitive impairment; primary progressive aphasias; dementias: Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body dementia, vascular dementia, mixed dementia; rarer forms of dementia: posterior cortical atrophy, cortico-basal degeneration)
•       Psychiatric and behavioural changes in progressive cognitive disorders
•       Diagnostic issues in dementia and the roles of neurology, clinical psychology, speech and language therapy
•       Assessment frameworks for understanding communication changes in dementia
•       Treatment approaches for promoting communication skills in dementia, including training of carers
•       Service user perspectives

2. Motor speech disorders in progressive and non-progressive aetiologies

Building on introduction in Speech and Language Pathology I and II
•       Description and classification of motor speech disorders
•       Motor speech and intelligibility assessment
•       Differential diagnosis of different types of dysarthria
•       Differential diagnosis of apraxia of speech
•       Clinical presentations of apraxia of speech in non progressive (stroke, traumatic brain injury) and progressive aetiologies (motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease)
•       Treatment approaches for apraxia of speech and types of dysarthria across aetiologies
•       Service user perspectives

3. Voice, Head & Neck

•       Normal and abnormal voice, including gender issues (voice mutation, gender identity, transgender)
•       Causes and classification of voice disorders
•       Psychosocial aspects of voice disorders
•       Assessment frameworks of voice disorders
•       Treatment approaches for voice disorders
• Upper airway disorders
•       Diagnosis of oral and pharyngeal cancers
•       Anatomical changes following oral and pharyngeal surgery
•       Pre- and post-operative counselling

•       Treatment approaches following oral and pharyngeal surgery (oesophageal voice, artificial larynx, surgical voice restoration)
•       Service user perspectives

In relation to the RCSLT curriculum guidance, the Speech and Language Pathology modules allow the students to demonstrate the applied knowledge of the full range of speech, language and swallowing difficulties and their speech and language therapy management. This module focuses specifically on clinical areas: 1. Acquired cognitive communication disorders arising from dementia. 2. Acquired language disorders: Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) 3. Acquired motor speech disorders 4. Acquired neurological disorders and/or conditions 8. Head and neck cancers and/or traumas 11. Mental health conditions (adults) and 15. Voice disorders and voice modification. Within biological and medical sciences (4.4.3), there is a focus on neurology, ENT and maxillofacial surgery, psychiatry, gerontology, oncology and palliative care.

The module provides opportunities for students to develop key graduate capabilities around the use of the evidence base to support clinical reasoning and practice (4.2.4 A) by applying knowledge of a range of disciplines relevant to speech and language therapy practice. There is also a focus on developing advanced communication skills (4.2.1A) promoting inclusion and access (4.2.1.B), health promotion (4.2.1C) interprofessional practice and teamworking (4.2.2A) working with service users families and carers (4.2.2B) , advocacy (4.2.2C) and developing others (4.2.3C).

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture182:0036:00Motor speech 6 x 2 hrs, progressive cognitive-comm disorders 5 x 2 hrs, Voice, Head & Neck 7 x 2 hrs
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading338:00114:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

There is a combination of structured guided learning with workshops to draw to together theory and concepts and explore the clinical implications for assessment and treatment. The motor speech component will take a case based problem solving approach with some group work. Service user workshops allow exploration of psychosocial and practical issues.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination902A34Progressive cognitive - communication disorders component,
Written Examination902A33Voice, Head & Neck component
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Case study2A33Motor speech disorders component: 1,500 word treatment management plan for a given case.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The exam formats in progressive cognitive-communication disorders as well as voice, head & neck components, will evaluate students’ ability to link underlying theory to assessment and therapy; to be able to link given communication profiles with given disorders and choose appropriate intervention techniques/rationales for the given disorders. The exam formats will take the form of multiple choice and short answer questions.

The case study for the motor speech disorders component affords variety in assessment methods for this module. It also enables students to demonstrate integration of knowledge from lectures and extensive private study on a pre-specified case. Furthermore, students will demonstrate skills in critical appraisal, analysis, synthesis and interpretation of information with explicit links to the given case.

Reading Lists