Ana Paula Mendes, professor at the Escola Superior do Saúde of the Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal (ESS / IPS), conducted an investigation that has just been distinguished with the prize for Best Scientific Article by the Portuguese Journal of Speech Therapy (RPTF) for 2020.
The article, entitled “Speech Therapist Research Practices and Competencies in Portugal”, resulted from a work developed by the team of the Commission for Innovation and Development (CID) of the Portuguese Society of Speech Therapy (SPTF), chaired by the teacher between 2017 and 2020.
“As scientific research is the engine of clinical development, it became relevant to question how Portuguese speech therapists felt about their research skills”, contextualizes the researcher.
The study analyzed responses to an online questionnaire, in which 86 speech therapists with clinical practice in Portugal participated. The results revealed that the workload of these professionals is mostly clinical (59.6%), with scientific research being one of the practices with the lowest dedicated workload (9.8%). However, the majority of speech therapists surveyed reported being involved in research projects (53.5%).
Postdoctoral in Speech Sciences, Ana Paula Mendes also taught at the University of Aveiro and at the universities of Florida and Indiana University of Pennsylvania, in the United States, where she also developed clinical practice in speech therapy. She is responsible for the creation of various instruments of Language, Speech and Voice, such as the ESFALA – Scale for the Development of Speech Sounds and EAVOCZ – Scale for appreciation of the sung voice, the latter published in three languages.
About this award, which she shares with co-authors Miriam Moreira, David Guerreiro, David Nascimento, Inês Tello Rodrigues and Vânia de Aguiar, she mentions the importance of “being recognized for what we do, with so much taste and at the same time with sacrifice”. And she also highlights that the “excellence of the final result is due to the dynamics of the team: respecting the individual and autonomous characteristics of each one, which become a group with exponential potential”.
The RPTF Prize is a distinction to encourage scientific research, being awarded annually by the Portuguese Association of Speech Therapists (APTF) to associate authors who have published scientific articles in the Revista Portuguesa de Terapia da Fala (RPTF).