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2021 ASHA Research Symposium: Megan A. Morris
This presentation video is from the Research Symposium at the 2021 Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
The abstract for the accompanying article is below. This article is part of the JSLHR Forum: Health & Health Care Equity in Communication Disorders.
Purpose: Approximately 10% of the U.S. adult population has a speech, language, and/or voice disability, collectively referred to as communication disabilities. An increasing number of studies demonstrate that persons with communication disabilities have worse health and health care outcomes as compared to those without communication disabilities. Understanding the state of the science, including potential contributing factors is critical to begin to address the disparities.
Method: Applying a historical lens and integrating multiple models of disability provide a comprehensive perspective of the health and health care outcomes of persons with communication disabilities.
Results: Three phases for addressing health care disparities exist: detecting, understanding, and reducing. Results from a 2012 National Health Interview Survey provide compelling population-level results of the health and health care disparities experienced by persons with communication disabilities. To understand the disparities, factors within the health care system, such as availability of communication aids and services, as well as provider and staff biases, assumptions, and lack of knowledge need to be considered. To date, few interventions exist to address disparities in care for persons with communication disabilities. Consequently, researchers need to engage with stakeholders in innovative study designs and methods to facilitate the rapid development, implementation, and dissemination of interventions that address the disparities.
Conclusion: To ensure equity for the large and growing population of persons with communication disabilities, researchers, policy makers, patients, and health care systems need to collaborate in identifying and addressing the factors contributing to health and health care disparities.
Morris, M. A. (2022). Striving toward equity in health care for people with communication disabilities. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 65(10), 3623–3632. https://doi.org/10.1044/2022_JSLHR-22-00057