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Registry of Systematic Reviews - Search Results

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1. Citation: Law, J., Garrett, Z., & Nye, C. (2004). Speech and language therapy interventions for children with primary speech and language delay or disorder. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2009, 4, CD004110

language, speech, speech pathology, speech therapy, child, communication disorders, language disorders, dysglossia, rhinolalia, auditory processing

Abstract: Background: It is thought that approximately 6% of children have speech and language difficulties of which the majority will not have any other significant developmental difficulties. Whilst most children's difficulties resolve, children whose difficulties persist into primary school may have long-term problems concerning literacy, socialization, behavior, and school attainment.

Objectives: To examine the effectiveness of speech and language interventions for children with primary speech and language delay/disorder.

Search strategy: The following databases were searched: Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (Cochrane Library, CENTRAL: 2002-2003), CINAHL (1982-July 2002), EMBASE (1980-Sept Week 4 2002), ERIC (1965-2002), MEDLINE (1966-Sept Week 3 2002), PsycINFO (1872-2002/10 Week 2), National Research Register (2002-2003). In addition, references were taken from reviews of the literature and reference lists from articles.

Selection criteria: The review considered randomized controlled trials of speech and language therapy interventions for children or adolescents with primary speech and language delay/disorder.

Data collection and analysis: Titles and abstracts were identified and assessed for relevance before the full-text version was obtained of all potentially relevant articles. The data were categorized depending on the nature of the control group and considered in terms of the effects of intervention on expressive and receptive phonology, syntax, and vocabulary. The outcomes used in the analysis were dependent on the focus of the study with only the primary effects of therapy being considered in this review.

Main results: The results of 25 studies were used in the meta-analysis. The results suggest that speech and language therapy is effective for children with phonological or vocabulary difficulties, but that there is less evidence that interventions are effective for children with receptive difficulties. Mixed findings were found concerning the effectiveness of expressive syntax intervention. No significant differences were shown between clinician-administered intervention and intervention implemented by trained parents, and studies did not show a difference between the effects of group and individual interventions. The use of normal language peers in therapy was shown to have a positive effect on therapy outcome.

Reviewers' conclusions: The review shows that overall there is a positive effect of speech and language therapy interventions for children with expressive phonological and expressive vocabulary difficulties. The evidence for expressive syntax difficulties is more mixed, and there is a need for further research to investigate intervention for receptive language difficulties. There is a large degree of heterogeneity in the results, and the sources of this need to be investigated.
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Record Updated:2017-03-02

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