Authors: Wren Y, Roulstone S
Title: A comparison between computer and tabletop delivery of phonology therapy
Source: International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology 2008 10(5): 346-363
Year: 2008
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 06/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - Y
Random allocation - Y
Concealed allocation - N
Baseline comparability - Y
Blind subjects - N
Blind therapists - N
Blind assessors - Y
Adequate follow-up - Y
Intention-to-treat analysis - N
Between-group comparisons - Y
Point estimates and variability - Y

This paper reports on the development and evaluation of a software program aimed at assisting children with phonological impairment. An experimental approach was used whereby children's speech output was assessed pre- and post-therapy. Children were randomly assigned to a computer, a tabletop or a no therapy group. Those children receiving the computer therapy were exposed to an experimental software program that mirrored the tabletop activities using interactive computer games. The results showed no significant difference between any of the three groups with regard to change in speech output. These results may relate to the amount and frequency of therapy given and also to the heterogeneous nature of children included in the study. There was considerable variation in individual performance across all three groups and the data were therefore analysed to look for patterns that might predict performance. Stimulability and gender were identified as possible predictors. Female children and those who were able to produce a greater number of consonant speech sounds in isolation were more likely to make progress in their speech output. Future research might use a similar methodology to compare the therapy conditions but with a more homogenous group in terms of stimulability and using a greater intensity of intervention.

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