Barriers to accessing rural paediatric speech pathology services: health care consumers' perspectives

Aust J Rural Health. 2005 Jun;13(3):162-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1854.2005.00686.x.


Objective: An investigation of consumers' perceived barriers to access paediatric speech pathology services.

Design: Self-administered, mail-out questionnaire.

Setting: Rural and remote New South Wales (NSW).

Subjects: Three hundred and twenty-nine members of the NSW branch of the Isolated Children's and Parents' Association.

Results: Consumers living in rural and remote areas experience a number of barriers that affected their ability to access speech pathology services. These barriers include the lack, and limited choice, of speech pathologists in rural areas; long distances to travel to access services, expensive travel costs, lack of public transport; poor awareness of speech pathology services; and delays in treatment due to waiting lists.

Conclusion: Barriers to access paediatric speech pathology services limit rural and remote consumers' usage of health services, regardless of need, indicating a possible inequity if compared to larger, more accessible urban areas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • New South Wales
  • Pediatrics / statistics & numerical data*
  • Professional Practice Location / statistics & numerical data
  • Rural Health Services / economics
  • Rural Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Speech Therapy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Transportation / economics
  • Transportation / statistics & numerical data