Caregiving & careseeking behaviour for people with communication disabilities within Cambodian communities

Chenda Net, Catherine Easton, Ruth Bryce

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Currently, in Cambodia there are very few services and supports available for individuals with communication disabilities, with most services located in the capital city Phnom Penh. Cambodians with communication disabilities, including children without typically developing speech and language skills, and adults with lifelong and/or acquired disabilities, not only face limited services but experience multiple barriers to accessing education, employment and health services. The project aimed to build an understanding of caregiving and care-seeking behaviours for supporting these individuals within provincial and rural Cambodian communities.
The study design drew on the values of social justice, inclusion, and cultural responsiveness, through Cambodian leadership, and guided by Cambodian stakeholders. An oral survey was conducted across rural and provincial urban locations in Kompong Speu and Kompot provinces (N=161). The survey data included demographic data and responses to two case studies presented by the data collectors. Data were analysed to identify categories or responses regarding the understanding of causes of communication disabilities and caregiving and care-seeking behaviours to support those with communication disability. Further, patterns between rurality and province urban were explored in relation to categories of responses provided.
The data demonstrated that many participants engaged in caregiving for a family member, and many knew someone with communication difficulties, thus establishing the relevance of the research for the participants. While participants were able to identify a range of ways they would care for and seek support for a family member with communication disability, there was also evidence of misinformation, information gaps and bias regarding the causes of communication
disability. Further a lack of accessible health and rehabilitation services in rural areas and Kompot resulted in these participants being more likely to seek alternate supports.
This project has sought to build a culturally and contextually responsive foundation for a speech therapy profession in Cambodia. This understanding is central to the development of sustainable services that build on existing local practices and are relevant to the community. Recommendations from the Stakeholder Advisory Group and from dissemination workshops reflect the current needs and priorities for Cambodian service providers, people with communication disabilities and their families, and therefore should be central to our response.

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Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023
EventThe 2023 Asia Pacific Society of Speech, Language and Hearing Conference - Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
Duration: 15 Dec 202316 Dec 2023 (Program) (Welcome messages)


ConferenceThe 2023 Asia Pacific Society of Speech, Language and Hearing Conference
Abbreviated titleConnect: Build a Stronger Network Among Us
Country/TerritoryViet Nam
CityHo Chi Minh City
OtherFor the first time ever, the Asia Pacific Society of Speech, Language, and Hearing (APSSLH) Bi-annual Conference will be in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam from December 14 to 16th, 2023. MCNV is honored to be one of the event sponsors.

The event will be held by APSSLH in partnership with HCMC University/MCNV and Hue University/KOICA.

The theme of the 2023 APSSLH Conference is “Connect: Build a Stronger Network Among Us”.

The APSSLH is a professional organization that is dedicated to supporting researchers, practitioners, and students in Communication Sciences and Disorders and other related fields in the Asia Pacific region.

As the first APSSLH conference to be held in the Southeast Asia region as well as in Vietnam, the Conference aims to build a more robust network to empower Speech and Language Therapists to fulfill their job successfully and support individuals who need speech, language, and hearing services in the Asia Pacific region.
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