Here is the abstract from Rachel Forsythe’s final year research project, supervised by Professor James Law and Dr Carolyn Letts.
Exploring the Relationships Between Underpinning Theory and Intervention Choice for Children with Developmental Language Disorders: Interpreting Data from a Practitioner Questionnaire Carried Out in 39 Countries
Children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) have impairments in their understanding and use of language. Speech and Language Therapy interventions can be effective for DLD but there is limited research into practitioner-reported interventions, especially across countries. Therefore, it is important to investigate the current use of intervention approaches alongside rationales and scientific evidence across a diverse range of countries.
Practitioner-reported questionnaires were distributed online in 39 COST Action countries. The participants were 2408 practitioners. Analysis included thematic analysis, coding qualitative data and statistical exploration.
A wide range of intervention approaches and rationales were reported. Most responses included a client-centred factor. Participants were more likely to use the client’s level of functioning as a rationale if they reported a severe impairment. Participants with University level education were less likely to report basing intervention on client-centred factors. Overall there was limited use of scientific evidence. Specific interventions were used across countries. The key themes of intervention had varying levels of scientific evidence.
Certain client and practitioner characteristics could have an impact on the intervention approaches and rationales used across countries. Limited numbers of practitioners reporting use of scientific evidence suggest that there should be more initiatives to encourage scientific evidence-based practice.
Key words: Developmental Language Disorders, Language Intervention for Children, Qualitative Data analysis, Quantitative Data analysis