Availability, access, and quality of care

Inequities in rural speech pathology services for children and a model for redress

Linda Wilson, Michelle Lincoln, Mark Onslow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)


Equity, with its target of social justice and a fair distribution of health, is an accepted overarching principle in health care. Yet the literature has identified inequities between rural and metropolitan areas. It is not clear to what extent this literature pertains to paediatric speech pathology services, and the purpose of this research was to provide clarifying information. Data were obtained through interviews with 12 speech pathologists who provided services to rural paediatric clients. Findings indicated that (a) local, frequent speech pathology services were not universally available, (b) some rural clients faced significant barriers to accessing frequent speech pathology services, and (c) some rural clients may be receiving services of compromised quality. It was concluded that equity is currently questionable for some paediatric speech pathology clients in rural New South Wales. A conceptual approach to redressing these equity problems is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-22
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2002
Externally publishedYes


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