Kate Crowe and I were her proud supervisors as she presented her research to an expert panel. While Nicole and most of the panel were in Bathurst, Kate dialed in from Germany for the presentation and other members of the audience dialed in from across Australia.
Abstract: Children with speech and language difficulties typically wait for up to 12 months for speech-language pathology services in Australia, meaning that they may miss out on the benefits of early intervention. One of three areas of concern highlighted in the 2014 Australian Government Senate Inquiry into speech-language pathology services was “the long waiting lists in the public system” (Commonwealth of Australia, 2014, p. 5). In other areas of health care, individuals can experience feelings of stress, fear, and disempowerment while waiting. There is a lack of research around speech-language pathology waiting lists, including the experiences and impact that waiting has on children and families, how children are prioritised on waiting lists, and how to best support children and families on waiting lists. The proposed research comprises five studies aimed to address these gaps. Study 1 will explore experiences of waiting for speech-language pathology through analysing public submissions to the 2014 Australian Government Senate Inquiry. Study 2 will explore the experiences of parents/caregivers of children who have been on waiting lists for speech-language pathology. Study 3 will investigate how speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in Australia prioritise and support children with speech and language difficulties and their families on waiting lists. Study 4 will involve the development of an evidence-based, parent-friendly active waiting website to provide practical strategies and support to those on speech-language pathology waiting lists. Study 5 will compare the effectiveness of providing the website to families (intervention condition: active waiting) and standard practice (control condition: passive waiting) using a randomised controlled trial design. The findings of this research will inform practice regarding appropriate care for children and their families who are waiting for services, and empower children and families to engage in active waiting.
|Nicole practiced her endorsement session with the Bathurst and Dubbo speech pathologists|