SCSD Doctoral Candidate and Associate Professor Publish Paper on Alleviating Burnout in SLPs

Leesa Marante

School of Communication Science and Disorders (SCSD) doctoral candidate Leesa Marante and Associate Professor Dr. Kelly Farquharson had their research published by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) in the June 8, 2021 issue of Perspectives. Their publication titled, “Tackling Burnout in the School Setting: Practical Tips for School-Based Speech-Language Pathologists,” provides strategies for Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) to alleviate workload stress related to burnout.

“As a school-based SLP, I am familiar with the sense of overwhelm,” said Marante. “Over the years, I have realized that our roles and responsibilities are rapidly changing, while our working conditions remain the same. In this paper, we provide a variety of strategies that help alleviate some overwhelm in the school setting which can be vital for job productivity and therapy efficacy.”

The paper’s ultimate goal is to help SLPs feel heard and allow them to enjoy their jobs without added stressors.

Dr. Farquharson

“I am particularly interested in the support required by school-based SLPs,” said Dr. Farquharson. “This population of clinicians experiences burnout at rapid rates, which has resulted in a shortage of qualified professionals in this setting. This has implications for children’s long-term educational, social, and vocational outcomes. Therefore, understanding SLP burnout is an indirect way of supporting children’s success.”

According to the publication’s abstract, SLPs provide services to 55% of students with disabilities in school settings across the United States, yet there is a shortage of qualified workers in these settings. Most researchers identify factors that lead to diminished career intentions, occupational stress, and job burnout; however, there is a lack of research on how to prevent it.

“This paper serves as a method to provide support to SLPs,” said Marante. “This publication is also the beginning of a line of research that I aim to continue over the next few years. My main research interest includes providing school-based SLPs with adequate support to increase their job satisfaction and self-efficacy in providing effective, evidence-based language and literacy therapy to their caseloads. Currently, my dissertation study aims to increase retention of SLPs in the school setting with the implementation of a social support program designed to reduce stress and burnout symptoms.”

“My hope is that my work will help improve the working conditions and mental health needs of school-based SLPs,” said Marante. “My main goal with this work is to provide evidence to support the need for systemic change for SLPs in school districts across the country.”

Dr. Farquharson has also found a way to implement this research in the FSU community.

“Working on this topic has increased my interest in making sure that our graduate students in SCSD feel supported and prepared to stave off overwhelm and burnout once they start their first SLP jobs, said Dr. Farquharson. “This is a really important way that we can ensure the success of our students and alumni.”

To read more about their publication, click here.