Sharon M. Antonucci, PhD, CCC-SLP, is Director of the MossRehab Aphasia Center, a speech-language pathologist, and a clinical researcher specializing in aphasia and aphasia rehabilitation. Dr. Antonucci recently served as an expert guest editor for the most recent issue of Seminars in Speech and Language, a peer-reviewed academic journal that features review articles spanning the spectrum of speech-language pathology. Guest editors play a critical role in advancing our understanding of specific research areas by working with academic journals to put together and disseminate collections of high-quality articles within their area of expertise.
This latest issue of Seminars in Speech and Language includes an excellent series of articles examining the role of animal-assisted interventions (AAI) in speech-language services. Dr. Antonucci authored the lead article in which she discusses important practical, clinical, and theoretical considerations for integrating animal-assisted interventions in speech-language pathology treatments. As interest in animal-assisted therapy continues to grow among patients, clinicians, and researchers, it becomes increasingly critical to ensure scientists and clinicians are aware of standards and qualifications for delivering services in order to build a sound evidence base to inform clinical practice.
Dr. Antonucci discusses evidence regarding potential benefits of AAI for clinical populations and future directions for further research, as well as practical considerations for clinicians and scientists interested in engaging in AAI or becoming part of an animal-handler team. You can read the full article here.
Through this issue of Seminars in Speech and Language, Dr. Antonucci brought together leading researchers to share key perspectives on some of the most important issues faced by scientists and clinicians who are studying and implementing animal-assisted therapies to facilitate recovery and improve quality of life for patients with aphasia and other communication disorders. This guest-editing opportunity highlights how scientists at the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute (MRRI), such as Dr. Antonucci, are at the forefront of their fields, shaping the future of rehabilitation research.