Speech pathologists should routinely check Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status in clients' health records and with the clients themselves.
NHMRC level of Evidence: GPP
Rationale: People of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background cannot necessarily be identified on the basis of physical appearance. It is important to be aware of a client’s ethnic/cultural background in order to provide culturally safe and appropriate services and to understand potential linguistic/pragmatic behaviours. Without knowledge of the client’s cultural background, particularly in terms of linguistic issues in the context of speech pathology (e.g. languages/dialects spoken), misdiagnoses are possible.
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Professor Linda Worrall