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Challenges and solutions in speech-language pathology service delivery across Australia and Canada

Jacqueline Lim, Patricia McCabe, Alison Purcell


Background, aims and objectives: This study aimed to compare the perception of barriers to service delivery among speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in Canada and Australia and the extent to which they used parent or carer training to overcome these barriers. 

Methods: Participants were 81 Australian and 63 Canadian SLPs who completed an online survey. Questions comprised open ended and forced choice questions with some ranking of questions also required. Chi-square analyses were conducted comparing Canadian and Australian SLPs. 

Results: Few differences existed among the respondents. Respondents overwhelmingly selected “not enough speech-language pathology positions to meet demand” as their main barrier. This barrier along with “parents/carer’s lack of knowledge about the need for speech-language pathology”, “lack of parent/carer engagement” and “lack of awareness of role of speech-language pathologist” were the principal barriers. Training parents and carers to conduct therapy at home was the most used strategy among both Canadian and Australian SLPs. 

Discussion: The finding that the SLPs perceive low engagement from parents both in the training sessions and when working with their child may suggest that there is a need for speech-language pathologists to determine more effective ways to train and engage parents and carers. 

Conclusion: More research into the efficacy of parent or carer training across a wider range of speech-language pathology practice areas and across a more diverse range of parents or carers needs to be undertaken.


Barriers, carer education, communication strategies, facilitators, parent education, person-centered healthcare, professional issues, service delivery, speech-language pathology, training

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