Example summary 1
Australia implements mandatory detention for everyone who arrives by boat seeking asylum, resulting in very high rates of mental illness in children and adults, and multiple human rights violations. Research in this restricted setting is challenging and inevitably politicised.
The thesis includes 10 papers, published between 2002 and 2018, reporting data collected during visits to children held in immigration detention. Children’s drawings include their voices and experience. In this penal environment parenting is undermined and children cannot be protected from trauma and neglect. The thesis extends the original data to outline a framework that demonstrates the cumulative impact on children’s mental health. The ethical implications for clinicians and researchers and the place of advocacy is discussed.
The work is original, significant and relevant given the unprecedented global numbers of displaced people and the adoption by other wealthy nations of harmful deterrent policies similar to those practiced by Australia.
Example summary 2
Many individuals experience communication impairments that impact their ability to function in everyday life. Speech pathology interventions aim to improve an individual’s communication interactions within their everyday life activities. However, there is a critical gap in the evidence for communication interventions that target communicative interactions in real-world contexts. This research investigated participation in online conversation as a real-world context and outcome for communication interventions.
Specifically, the research investigated the effects of a peer e-mentoring intervention for young people who were limited in their ability to use speech in everyday communication. It employed augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) modes (ie, signs, symbols, computerised devices).
Findings confirmed that adult mentors and younger participants who both used AAC reported positive mentoring relationships. Participants were observed to increase their participation in online conversation following the intervention. This study confirms that online conversation can be a valuable real-world context for communication intervention.