Pathways to paediatric speech pathology services in Australia

Journal article


Just, Elena, Pearce, Wendy M. and Crosbie, Sharon. (2020). Pathways to paediatric speech pathology services in Australia. Speech, Language and Hearing. https://doi.org/10.1080/2050571X.2020.1846837
AuthorsJust, Elena, Pearce, Wendy M. and Crosbie, Sharon
Abstract

In Australia, children identified with communication needs may not have access to needed speech-language pathology (SLP) services. This research, therefore, investigated parents’ experiences and perceptions of finding and obtaining SLP services for children with communication disorders across Australia. An online survey was used to investigate parent/carer experiences of accessing SLP services. Responses to open and closed survey questions were collected from 107 participants. Findings showed that parents were proactive in addressing concerns about their child’s communication. Health and education professionals were identified as an important source of information with almost half of parents consulting their GP or paediatrician with their initial concern. Judgement of service quality influenced choice and ongoing commitment to services. Ongoing barriers to accessing SLP services included availability, affordability and geographical location. More than 65% of parents accessed private SLP services although only a third identified private as their preferred option. Parents from New South Wales (NSW) accessed private services more than other states. Parents from rural/remote regions faced additional difficulty accessing services due to the ongoing shortage of services in these regions. Comparison of findings with previous studies showed little change for service accessibility but expanded knowledge of the ways in which parents across Australia access, select and maintain SLP services. A mismatch between services parents would prefer to access and do access was highlighted. Parental judgements also prompt speech-language pathologists to ensure that the scope and quality of their services meet client needs and expectations.

Keywordsparents; children; perceptions; experiences; service access; private; public
Year2020
JournalSpeech, Language and Hearing
PublisherTaylor & Francis
ISSN2050-5728
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/2050571X.2020.1846837
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85096539160
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range1-12
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusIn press
Publication dates
Online25 Nov 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted22 Oct 2020
Deposited25 Aug 2021
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