Speech pathologists should explain speech pathology terms in a way that is relevant and culturally appropriate to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person and their family.
Reference: Bohanna et al., 2013; Lowell et al., 2012; Sackett & Rennie, 1992; Shahid, Bessarab, Howat, & Thompson, 2009; Shahid & Thompson, 2009
NHMRC level of Evidence: Qual.
Rationale: In order to help the client understand the speech pathology context, information should be provided in a way that is relevant and culturally appropriate to an Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander context i.e. pictures of familiar contexts, familiar terms to equate with professional jargon. Language difference, worldview and conceptualisation of disease/ disorder may be different from western views of health and medicine/ treatment. Power imbalances are often barriers for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients in hospitals and health settings. SLPs should be aware that hospital environments and health settings can be hugely disempowering and frightening for some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients. The stress and emotional distress of illness and aphasia can exacerbate all of this. Time spent in developing a relationship and trust with the client and their family is essential. Use of pictures and engaging technology has been found to be effective.
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Professor Linda Worrall