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Title: Speech and language therapy service delivery: overcoming limited provision for children
Author: Jesus, Luís Miguel Teixeira de
Martinez, Joana
Valente, Ana Rita
Costa, Maria da Conceição
Keywords: Service delivery, Speech and language therapy, School-based services, Children
Issue Date: Oct-2017
Publisher: Elsevier
Abstract: Objectives: To test an alternative Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) service delivery model based on partnerships between a University and local schools and charities, and to report on the impact and feasibility of intervention based on long-term outcome measures and three case studies with individual analysis of Reliable Change. Study design: The following six-step model was tested: 1—establishing partnerships; 2—flagging children; 3—pre-treatment SLT assessment; 4—reporting and discussion with parents and teachers; 5—treatment; 6—post-treatment assessment. Case studies are presented. Methods: A partnership was established with one kindergarten in a pre-test and a total of 25 kindergartens during the second phase of the process. A group of 139 children were then flagged and assessed. The following long-term outcomes (18 months post-therapy) were investigated: phonetic-phonological standardised test percentiles and raw scores; receptive and expressive language percentiles and raw scores according to a standardised language test; percentage of syllables stuttered; duration of stuttering moments; academic achievement in norm-tests’ core areas (mathematics, Portuguese language and social studies). Case studies and a 95% credible interval analysis to assess Reliable Change are presented. Results: Seventy five (54%) children needed SLT support. Fifty (67%) of those children returned to the clinic for long-term assessments and the analysis of all outcome measures showed significant improvements in their performance, 18 months post-therapy. Case Studies Reliable Change analysis revealed a statistically significant improvement, which also clearly shows the feasibility and the positive impact of the intervention. Conclusions: This specialised and differentiated care network constitutes an alternative delivery system of SLT services that addresses the lack of support currently experienced by children and their families. The long-term outcome measures and the 95% credible interval analysis are reliable methods to determine the impact of interventions.
Peer review: yes
DOI: 10.1016/j.puhe.2017.06.013
ISSN: 0033-3506
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