Those who have the strength and the love to sit with a dying patient in the silence that goes beyond words will know that this moment is neither frightening nor painful, but a peaceful cessation of the functioning of the body.
—Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (1969)
In her many publications and presentations, Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross captured many essential lessons about end of life. Throughout this issue of Topics in Language Disorders, the authors share information about other important topics related to palliative and end-of-life care. Issue editor, Dr. Nidhi Mahendra, developed this issue, “Palliative Care and Speech–Language Pathologists: From Training to Practice,” and invited authors to write a variety of articles related these two topics.
First, Stead et al. (2020) review the literature on training for speech–language pathologists in providing end-of-life care as well as share the results of a pilot study evaluating a course module on the topics of palliative and end-of-life care. Next, Mahendra and Alonso (2020) share the results of a similar study examining the awareness and knowledge of palliative care concerns among speech–language pathology students across multiple programs of study. The results of these first two studies highlight the need for increased education and research about best educational methods on these important topics for speech–language pathology students. Next, Mukherjea et al. (2020) provide an important examination of disparities in end-of-life care among Asian American populations through a review of relevant literature. Then, Pollens (2020) describes the critically important role of speech–language pathologists in palliative and end-of-life care. Finally, Mahendra and Tadokoro (2020) present a longitudinal view of the palliative care provided to a woman with nonfluent primary progressive aphasia. This glimpse into her care includes information from traditional outcome measures, patient-reported outcome measures, and perspectives from the woman and her family.
In summary, the authors of this issue provide guidance to professionals addressing palliative and end-of-life care as well as for educators preparing future clinicians to provide services in these two important areas.
—Sarah E. Wallace, PhD, CCC-SLP
—Gary A. Troia, PhD, CCC-SLP
Kübler-Ross E. (1969). On death and dying. Touchstone.
Mahendra N., Alonso M. (2020). Knowledge of palliative care and advance directives among speech–language pathology students. Topics in Language Disorders, 40(3), 248–263.
Mahendra N., Tadokoro A. (2020). Nonfluent primary progressive aphasia: Implications of palliative care principles for informing service delivery. Topics in Language Disorders, 40(3), E7–E24.
Mukherjea A., Ali S., Smith J. A. (2020). A human rights perspective on palliative care: Unraveling disparities and determinants among Asian American populations. Topics in Language Disorders, 40(3), 278–296.
Pollens R. (2020) Facilitating client ability to communicate in palliative end-of-life care: Impact of speech–language pathologists. Topics in Language Disorders, 40(3), 264–277.
Stead A., Dirks K., Fryer M., Wong S. (2020). Training future SLPs for work in end of life and palliative care. Topics in Language Disorders, 40(3), 233–247.