Speech-language pathology services for Indigenous Australian adults with acquired communication disorders: a systematic quantitative literature review.
Cochrane, F., Siyambalapitiya, S., Cornwell, P.
ABSTRACT: This review aimed to describe: a) experiences of Indigenous Australian adults with ACDs; b) current speech-language pathology (SLP) practices with this population, and c) research methodologies employed to explore these factors in previous research. A systematic quantitative literature review was conducted across five databases using a priori search inclusion/exclusion criteria and search parameters relevant to the aims. Studies published in peer-reviewed journals up to February 2016 were considered in the review. Six studies met criteria for inclusion. Two described experiences of Indigenous Australian adults with ACDs (as well as significant others). Four studies related to current SLP practice with this population. Experiences specific to Indigenous Australian adults with ACDs living outside the state of Western Australia, or those actively engaged in the acute hospital setting have not been included in studies to date. Research relating specifically to SLP services for Indigenous Australian adults with ACDs following neurological injury is an emerging area, with all of the studies generated since 2012. SLPs report several barriers to service provision including a lack of knowledge, confidence and culturally appropriate resources; and challenges working with Indigenous Liaison Officers and interpreters. Future research should explore how speech-language pathologists diagnose and manage ACDs in this population, how SLPs engage with relevant stakeholders, and should address the specific needs of the Torres Strait Islander population. Qualitative research approaches, including collaboration with Indigenous Reference Groups and engagement of Indigenous research assistants contributes to culturally safe research approaches and is congruent with ethical guidelines for this population.