Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders, Vol 5, No 1 (2014)

The importance of cultural competence for speech and language therapists

Claire Leadbeater, Lia Litosseliti
Issued Date: 29 Mar 2014


Most speech and language therapists (SLTs) in the UK work with children and families from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. There is little research however investigating how they go about providing healthcare that takes into account cultural differences. This paper will describe a study that aimed to investigate the cultural competence of SLTs in one London Borough. A combination of questionnaires and a focus group were used to generate qualitative data about the knowledge and views of SLTs about cultural competence. A content analysis framework was employed to analyse the data. Our findings suggest that SLTs in one London Borough have their own distinct culture which includes beliefs about their role as SLTs and about the role of parents in therapy sessions. Findings suggest that the SLTs employ a range of culturally competent practices in their everyday work. These findings are discussed in relation to current thinking on cultural competence and models of cultural competence (Purnell and Paulanka, 2003; Papadopoulos et al., 1998).

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DOI: 10.1558/jircd.v5i1.1


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