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Community service providers' roles in supporting communication disability rehabilitation in Majority World contexts: An example from Ghana

Wylie, Karen and Davidson, Bronwyn and Marshall, Julie and Bampoe, Josephine Ohenewa and Amponsah, Clement and McAllister, Lindy (2019) Community service providers' roles in supporting communication disability rehabilitation in Majority World contexts: An example from Ghana. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. pp. 1-11. ISSN 1754-9507

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Abstract

Purpose: In Majority World countries, where speech-language pathology services are extremely limited, people with communication disabilities (PWCD) may seek help from a range of service providers. This qualitative research aimed to explore the nature of community services offered to people with communication disabilities who seek help in Accra, Ghana. Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine individuals from three professions: pastors (3), doctors (3), and herbalists (3) exploring services that they may offer to PWCD seeking help. Interviews were analysed using Thematic Network Analysis. Result: Six global themes described beliefs about communication disability, types of intervention, explanations provided to people with communication disabilities, promoting communication, processes for selecting treatments, and links between service providers. Interventions encompassed physical, spiritual, psychosocial and environmental approaches, with the notion of plural beliefs interwoven through a number of themes. Conclusion: In Ghana, and other Majority World contexts, service providers in sectors not commonly associated with communication disability rehabilitation may have important roles to play in supporting people with communication disabilities. Understanding the contributions of other service providers may assist the growing profession of speech-language pathology to collaborate across sectors, to develop specific, culturally responsive approaches to service development.

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