Because of the recent controversy over communication treatment approaches, we wanted to share recommendations on best practices in our field. Facilitated Communication (FC) and the Rapid Warning Method (RPM) are two similar treatment approaches. FC involves a therapist (or facilitator) providing physical support by touching or holding the communicator's hand, arm, or shoulder while writing a message on a whiteboard or keyboard. The RPM involves a facilitator holding and moving the whiteboard with letters, while the communicator is asked to point to the letters and spell out the words.
Baylor's online SLP master's program can be completed full-time in 20 months or part-time in 25 months.
The evidence-based practice of SLP is still relatively new in speech therapy,as well as in other therapies, such as physical and occupational therapy. 1 However, those who hold a Certificate of Clinical Competency (CCC) are required by the ASHA code of ethics to participate in the PBE. The code states that services should only be provided if it is reasonable to expect a benefit.
The code also states that doctors must strive to perform at their best, which cannot be done without effectively evaluating treatment plans. If you don't use PBE in the practice of speech-language pathology, you're not alone. Currently, only 20% of speech therapists consider journal research in their clinical decisions, according to ASHA. 1 Data from the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association1 When there isn't enough evidence about the effectiveness of a treatment to interpret it (or the evidence is of poor quality), speech therapists can rely on practice-based evidence (PBE) (PDF, 681 KB).
It would be a disservice to patients not to treat them because no solid, non-contradictory evidence could be found that would apply to them and their treatment needs. PBE involves doctors collecting their own data to assess the effectiveness of treatment. While doctors should first consult the available evidence, PBE is available to them when that's not possible. Providing children with a language-rich environment is essential.
A simple way to do this is with a concept called parallel conversation. This simply means narrating actions as you do them. A speech therapist works in a hospital and meets a client who has suffered a stroke and has speech problems. Speech pathology in evidence-based practice uses scientific research, trials, conclusions and recommendations to inform patient treatment.
When you use evidence-based practice to care for your patients, you're also taking care of yourself because you can always defend your choice of treatments. Speech-language pathologists from Heartspring have investigated these two methods and two attended a conference on the position of the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) on RPM and CF. These unprepared booklets contain simple explanations of speech and language strategies in a language suitable for parents. New York University's Steinhardt's online master's program in communication sciences and disorders prepares aspiring speech-language pathologists with a comprehensive professional education.
As speech pathology researchers accumulate more information to inform practice, these findings may make PBE in a variety of careers specializing in speech pathology more effective. Currently, only 20% of speech pathologists consider journal research in their clinical decision-making, reports the ASHA. Another example of evidence-based SLP practice is that of a speech therapist working with a child in a school who has autism, which has affected their language development. Evidence-based speech therapy is a multi-step process that is continuously repeated as speech pathologists learn more and new research is available.
By analyzing examples of evidence-based practices with stroke victims, the SLP would design a treatment plan that is more likely to be effective. Even if it's not a CCC-SLP, evidence-based practice in speech pathology is still important to you and your patients. These are skills that students can begin learning as master's degree students in speech pathology at the school of speech pathology, if not sooner. EBP in speech pathology should be used from evaluation to the creation of individualized treatment plans.
Continuing education is a great opportunity for speech pathologists to obtain new evidence-based information. .