Purpose: To understand how a Fijian community supports people with communication disability (PWCD) and whether their support is associated with participant demographics. Method: Thematic analysis of 144 questionnaires that asked about participants’ actions to support a fictional child and adult with communication disability. Result: Participant responses fell into two categories: what they would do directly (self-help) and people and places where they would seek assistance (help-seeking). Self-help behaviours included: making a change to their own communication style or mode; trying to change their own and others’ behaviour; teaching new skills; praying; changing the physical environment; seeking information independently; assessing or observing; and, using traditional medicine, western medicine, or traditional belief practices. Help-seeking behaviours included seeking help from: other community members; education professionals; a professional in another country; spiritual leaders; traditional belief practitioners; traditional medicine practitioners; western health care practitioners; or, an alternative provider (e.g. home, orphanage, nursing home). Younger participants and those of iTaukei Fijian ethnicity were more likely to seek help from other community members. Conclusion: This Fijian community actively supports people with communication disability within available networks. Development of speech-language pathology services for people with communication disability living in similar communities should harness the informal knowledge within these networks.
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology|
|Early online date||06 Jul 2017|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|