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ERIC Number: EJ1072852
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1368-2822
Non-Attendance and Utilization of a Speech and Language Therapy Service: A Retrospective Pilot Study of School-Aged Referrals
Curran, Amy; Flynn, Catherine; Antonijevic-Elliott, Stanislava; Lyons, Rena
International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, v50 n5 p665-675 Sep-Oct 2015
Background: Non-attendance and inappropriate referrals affect the effective and efficient running of healthcare services. Non-engagement with speech and language therapy (SLT) services may lead to negative long-term consequences for children in need of SLT intervention. Currently there is a dearth of research on non-attendance and non-engagement with SLT services. Aims: To identify factors associated with (1) non-attendance and (2) parents' non-engagement with SLT services. Methods & Procedures: Demographic data were collected from 140 case files of children (aged 5;0-17;11 years) discharged from a public community SLT service (November 2011-October 2013) with no intervention provided. Logistic regression analyses explored relationships between demographic data and (1) non-attendance and (2) non-engagement with the SLT service. Outcomes & Results: There was an increased probability of non-attendance during winter (i.e. September-February inclusive; OR = 3.14; p = 0.028) relative to summer, and with each month a child waited for SLT assessment (OR = 1.19; p = 0.066). There was decreased probability of non-attendance with children referred for speech (OR = 0.08; p = 0.011) or language difficulties (OR = 0.15; p = 0.050) relative to dysfluency. The probability of non-engagement with the SLT service increased in each of the following conditions: with each month a child waited for assessment (OR = 1.27; p = 0.004); in urban (OR = 2.40; p = 0.066) relative to rural locations; during winter (OR = 2.65; p = 0.021) relative to summer; and with referrals made by occupational therapists, physiotherapists, psychologists and social workers (OR = 18.65; p = 0.016) relative to doctor referrals. Conclusions & Implications: Non-attendance is influenced by wait times, season and the reason for referral. Location (urban versus rural), referral source, wait times and season are factors related to non-engagement with SLT services. Targeted policies to improve efficiency and effectiveness of SLT services could be designed around these study findings.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A