||Pennington, L., Goldbart, J., & Marshall, J. (2004). Interaction training for conversational partners of children with cerebral palsy: A systematic review. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 39(2), 151-170.
||cerebral palsy, children, parental training, conversational partners, systematic review, effectiveness, communication skills, parent child relationship, interaction
Background: Many children with cerebral palsy (CP) experience difficulty with oral communication. Speech and language therapy is often recommended for youth with CP. Many professionals also recommend training for conversational partners in order to enhance their ability to communicate and improve the child’s communication development. However, it is unclear if training conversational partners is an effective intervention strategy for enhancing overall communication.
Objectives: To review experimental research on communication training for conversational partners of children with cerebral palsy.
Search strategy: The authors searched electronic data sources (through December 2002) including CINAHL, Medline, EMBASE, PsychINFO, Web of Science, Language and Linguistic Behavior Abstracts, British Education Index, National Research Register, ERIC, Aslib Index to UK theses, and SIGLE. In addition, the authors conducted a hand search of relevant journals and conference proceedings.
Selection criteria: The authors included experimental intervention research studies on conversational partners of children with cerebral palsy aged 0-19. Various interventions were considered, including speech production, language development and use of alternative and augmentative communication.
Data collection and analysis: Two reviewers independently assessed the quality and content of each study using a standardized coding checklist.
Main results: The researchers synthesized four studies, including three group studies and one single case experiment. These studies focused on outcomes such as positioning of the conversational partner and child for interaction, creating communication opportunities, and responding to children’s communicative signals. The review indicates that training interventions influenced the conversation patterns used by conversational partners. However, there were limitations to the methodological quality of the studies.
Conclusions: The systematic review suggests that training conversational partners may be associated with changes in communication style for both children with cerebral palsy and their conversational partners. However, there are few studies of high quality available on this topic.