Paediatric speech-language pathology service delivery: an exploratory survey of Australian parents

Leanne Ruggero, Patricia McCabe*, Kirrie J. Ballard, Natalie Munro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)


Consideration of client values and preferences for service delivery is integral to engaging with the evidence-based practice triangle (E 3BP), but as yet such preferences are under-researched. This exploratory study canvassed paediatric speech-language pathology services around Australia through an online survey of parents and compared reported service delivery to preferences, satisfaction, and external research evidence on recommended service delivery. Respondents were 154 parents with 192 children, living across a range of Australian locations and socio-economic status areas. Children had a range of speech and language disorders. A quarter of children waited over 6 months to receive initial assessment. Reported session type, frequency, and length were incongruent with both research recommendations and parents' wishes. Sixty per cent of parents were happy or very happy with their experiences, while 27% were unhappy. Qualitative responses revealed concerns such as; a lack of available, frequent, or local services, long waiting times, cut-off ages for eligibility, discharge processes, and an inability to afford private services. These findings challenge the profession to actively engage with E 3BP including; being cognisant of evidence-based service delivery literature, keeping clients informed of service delivery policies, individualizing services, and exploring alternative service delivery methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-350
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • evidence-based practice
  • parent perspectives
  • parent satisfaction
  • speech language pathology service delivery
  • waiting lists


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