Added on: 03/06/2020 Publish Date: 2012 839

The effect of language on physical rehabilitation: A study of the influence of language on the effectiveness of therapy in a Welsh-speaking community


In an area of Wales where 50% of the population is bilingual one community physical rehabilitation service had no Welsh-speaking therapists. An internationally standardised outcome measure was used to assess the effectiveness of rehabilitation in this area. This revealed that Welsh speaking patients had significantly poorer results from rehabilitation than non-Welsh speakers (p<0.05), while there was no significant difference where the therapists were bilingual. The results suggest that therapists’ ability to speak patients’ first language impacts on therapy effectiveness. The percentage of individuals who could speak Welsh referred (by health or social care professionals) was compared with the percentage of Welsh speakers which would have been anticipated given the percentage in the general population. Significantly fewer Welsh speakers were referred to the rehabilitation service than the anticipated percentage (p<0.001). Whilst this suggests professionals’ inability to speak Welsh may impact negatively on access to services for Welsh speakers, there may be other multifactorial psycho-social reasons to consider.

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Collection Level
Higher Education
Collection belongs to
Linguistics, Sociology and Social Policy
All Rights Reserved
Coleg Cymraeg Resource 'Gwerddon' article
mân-lun cyfrol gwerddon 10/11

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