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Cultural competence in the provision of services to people with communication disabilities and their families. An exploratory study of the views and experiences of people with communication disabilities. THIS OFFER IS NOW CLOSED

Vice-Chancellor PhD Scholarship

Summary

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The UK’s increasingly diverse population requires culturally competent services, including from Speech and Language Therapists. This studentship aims to increase understanding about how culturally competent practice is viewed by people with communication disabilities (PWCD) and their families. This will be achieved through interviews and stories from PWCD and their families.
A number of challenges need to be addressed in order to improve services for PWCD and their families.

These include:

1. agreement on the terminology used by professionals in relation to culture and cultural competence;
2. how PWCD and their families define, view and experience culturally competent services;
3. how SLTs define and view culture and culturally competent services;
4. how SLTs are educated to, and practise, culturally competent care;
5. the impact of culturally competent service provision on patient and clinician-reported outcomes.

Aims and objectives

Culture can be understood more widely than through lenses of ethnicity, skin colour and religion, as it reflects and influences complex aspects of human lives e.g. gender, sexuality, age, geography, social, economic and educational status. Many of these features may impact on the provision of, and engagement with, services for people with communication disabilities (PWCD) and their families. Data are limited in this area and debate and dialogue are rarely at a global level. Contemporary theoretical and practical models/ frameworks for developing cultural competence and practice in relation to PWCD are limited.

There is a growing imperative for the profession of speech and language therapy (SLT) to address the development of cultural capabilities within its workforce (Marshall 2000 and 2003; Marshall et al. 2016; Penn 2016). The growth of multicultural societies, access to social media, geographical mobility and awareness of indigenous knowledges are significant factors, as is a growing awareness that many individuals, communities and country populations remain under-served in relation to SLT services.

Within the increasingly diverse communities of the UK and elsewhere,  in relation to SLT service provision, there is likely not only to be a range of languages spoken, but also diversity in beliefs, attitudes, knowledge, preferences, experience and practices, about communication, communication disability and SLT services. 

A number of challenges need to be addressed in order to improve services for PWCD and their families. These include:

  1. agreement on the terminology used by professionals in relation to culture and cultural competence;
  2. how PWCD and their families define, view and experience culturally competent services;
  3. how SLTs define and view culture and culturally competent services;
  4. how SLTs are educated to, and practice, culturally competent care;
  5. the impact of culturally competent service provision on patient and clinician reported outcomes.  

Aims and objectives

This project will address the second challenge above and aims to describe and understand and how PWCD and their families define, view and experience culturally competent care, within SLT services in the UK.

This aim will be achieved through two objectives:

  1. Review literature about culture and cultural competence, in relation to PWCD;
  2. Carry out in-depth qualitative interviews or narratives from PWCD people with communication disabilities and their families, to explore their views about and experiences of, culturally competent care in SLT.

The most appropriate methodology for this study will be qualitative and could use, for example IPA or narrative approaches.  There a number of ethical issues inherent in working with individuals who, in some cases may be perceived as vulnerable, and the candidate should be aware of these when preparing for this study.

Outputs and impact

It is expected that there will be at least two high quality publications arising from this PhD studentship, linked to one or both of the two objectives. Both supervisors have extensive experience of publishing in high impact journals. This project will also have impact outside academia, where it will develop practitioners’ understanding of how best to meet the needs of speech and language therapy clients. 

References

Penn, C. (2016) Putting culture into the curriculum: Some guidelines for the educator. Paper presented that IALP, Dublin, August

Marshall J. (2003) International and cross-cultural issues: six key challenges for our professions. Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica. 55,(6), 329-336

Marshall J. (2000) Critical reflections on the cultural influences on the identification and habilitation of children with speech and language difficulties. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education 47, (4),

Marshall, J., Davidson, B. & Wylie, K (2016) Cultural Competence, What Does This Mean for the Practice of Speech and Language Therapy? An Overview. Paper presented that IALP, Dublin, August.  

Specific requirements of the project

Essential criteria:

Desirable criteria:

The project start date is expected to be September 2017

Student eligibility

The Scholarship is open to UK and EU students

Contacts

Informal enquiries can be made to:

Cate Lawton, hpscresearchdegrees@mmu.ac.uk

The supervisory team for this project will be Dr Julie Marshall and Prof Carol Haigh. Specific queries regarding the research project will be forwarded to the supervisory team for response

How to apply

Please quote the reference: VC-HPSC-JEM-2017-1.

Applications should be completed using the Postgraduate Research Degree Application Form.

Application Form should be emailed to: pgradmissions@mmu.ac.uk.

THIS OFFER IS NOW CLOSED

Closing date

Research Study