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Introduction to Advances in Communication and Swallowing Volume 26, Issue 1

A warm welcome to Volume 26 Issue 1 of Advances in Communication and Swallowing, our first of 2023.

We are delighted to present to you an excellent line-up of research papers in this issue. The broad themes in this latest issue and the international representation demonstrate the steady growth of this new journal.

The papers seem to naturally cluster into three main groupings. Firstly, we look to the developmental language and communication disorders domain. The first of two papers in this area focuses on the perspectives of children and their teachers on how best to support pupils with developmental language disorder (DLD) in the school context (Gibbons, Coughlan & Gallagher). Gibbons et al. conclude that insights gained can help in building awareness of DLD, which can then translate to more meaningful actions in the educational context. The second paper is also related to the area of developmental language disorder (Gallagher et al.) with a focus on the uptake of the recent CATALISE recommendations for SLTs working in the Irish context. This paper calls for a ‘multi-level implementation strategy’ to support enactment of the recommendations.

The second cluster of papers sees a focus on primarily acquired language and communication conditions and concepts. A concept analysis of ‘recovery’ is presented by Gleeson and Jagoe, where they explore what recovery means in the context of post stroke aphasia. They conclude that there are at least six core constructs or attributes that characterise recovery in SLT service delivery, when considered in the context of aphasia, and appreciating this complexity is key to effective involvement with people and families affected by stroke. Two further papers in this cluster focus on work in intensive care units (ICUs). Mills et al. present the findings of a national survey (conducted in the United Kingdom) to explore the provision of SLT to ICUs, concluding that services are not sufficient in providing optimal care. However, in our “Spotlight on . . . ” series, Mills, Jones and Wallace present another side of the SLT-ICU story. In their truly uplifting paper, they discuss the positive ‘silver lining’ for SLT as characterised by work in intensive care units during the pandemic; ‘increased visibility’ and ‘productivity’ are just two of the positive outcomes discussed here.

Finally, a consideration of the research introduced thus far in this editorial – that is research carried out so ably by researchers and hard-pressed, busy clinicians – helps to forge a thematic link to the final paper in this issue. Cooke, Nazareth and Govender focus on the development of research skills for allied healthcare professionals (AHPs), specifically as related to taking on a principal investigator (PI) role. They compare one trainee’s research skill development within an AHP-led trial of swallowing prehabilitation among patients with head and neck cancer (known as SIP SMART2), to those requisite research skills as specified by a well-known researcher development framework. They conclude that real gains were made toward achieving a PI status in this cancer care clinical context.

We hope you will appreciate these papers in this issue, as we strive to showcase many areas of practice and concepts of concern to those working and researching within the fields of communication and swallowing. Our priority is to publish cutting edge multidisciplinary research from within Ireland and abroad. Please work alongside us to promote the journal as a platform for the latest research from our national and international colleagues.

Julie Regan

Irene P. Walsh


May 2023