Purpose: To gauge the understanding and opinions of clinical neuropsychologists and speech and language therapists (SLT) in relation to vegetative (VS) and minimally conscious (MCS) patients relative to available practice guidelines. Method: Semi-structured questionnaires were sent to all UK Practitioner Full Members of the EPS Division of Neuropsychology (307) and SLT managers (371) in March to April 2002 examining post qualification clinical practice, professional-family involvement and views on neuro-rehabilitation access. Difference(s) in clinical practice among clinical neuropsychologists and SLTs were observed. Results: Some 27% returned questionnaires (n = 184). Despite significant working experience, most respondents poorly defined both VS and MCS. Among clinical neuropsychologists and speech and language therapists not working with these patients, less positive attitudes regarding the value of neuro-rehabilitation were endorsed. Conclusions: Despite the development of SMART training for VS, there is a dearth of specific training in MCS assessment and management. The need to improve professional understanding among these staff groups is highlighted.
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- Professional attitudes
- vegetative state
- minimally conscious state