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Dr Arlene McCurtin

I am a speech & language therapist by background with extensive clinical experience in dysphagia and clients with disabilities, particularly physical and intellectual disabilities. I am currently lecturing in UL and am also the Course Director of the MSc Speech & Language Therapy course. I have published a number of books including ‘The Manual of Paediatric Feeding Practice’ and ‘The Fun with Food programme: Therapeutic intervention for children with an aversion to oral feeding’. 

I have two main research interests.

  1. The first stream revolves around the nature of clinical practice and evidence-based practice. I am interested in the production and use of research evidence but in particular the scaffolds of clinical experience and patient preferences. I am primarily enthused about discussions around clinical reasoning, the nature of therapy and of clinical experience. My reflections on EBP lead me to think that clinicians require more exploration of the broader nature and context of practical evidence and patient values in particular. This interest is transdisciplinary and not limited to one discipline.
  2. The second research interest involves the application of sensory stimuli in the management of both dysphagia and communication disorders. In dysphagia, this particularly relates to sensory and chemesthetic stimuli and in disability is evidenced with a focus on beginning or early communication skills including the use of various sensory stimuli especially for profoundly disabled individuals. 

Type of student I am looking for:

  • A student interested in critical thinking
  • A student who is interested in the nature of clinical practice, who wants to engage in discussions and explorations which extend beyond that of evidence-based practice.
  • A student who is interested in dismantling EBP and examining its component parts and the integration of its parts.
  • A student who is interested in examining the fit of EBP to clinical practice for any of the three scaffolds of research evidence, practical evidence and patient evidence.
  • A student who is client-centered and interested in examining and integrating patient preferences and values into clinical decisions.
  • A student who feels strongly about what clinicians do and why they do it
  • A student who recognizes the broader nature of clinical practice and wants to examine particular issues related to it.
  • A student who may have specific ideas but wants to develop and grow them.
  • A student who is interested in examining potentially underutilized therapies and techniques – no matter what clinical area.
  • A student who is interested in the concepts of science and pseudoscience.