Authors: Best W, Melvin D, Williams S
Title: The effectiveness of communication groups in day nurseries
Source: European Journal of Disorders of Communication 1993 28(2): 187-212
Year: 1993
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 04/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - Y
Random allocation - Y
Concealed allocation - N
Baseline comparability - Y
Blind subjects - N
Blind therapists - N
Blind assessors - N
Adequate follow-up - Y
Intention-to-treat analysis - N
Between-group comparisons - Y
Point estimates and variability - N

This project, run by a speech and language therapist and a clinical psychologist, took place in three inner city day nurseries. A group of children over whose communication there was concern were assessed on both formal (verbal and non-verbal) and informal (observational) measures. At each nursery these children were divided into two matched groups: intervention and control. The intervention consisted of communication groups run jointly with nursery staff- These small groups focused on promoting communication through play. On reassessment the children attending the communication groups had made significantly more improvement than the controls on both formal and informal measures. In particular, the number and quality of children’s interactions, their underlying ability to focus on tasks and their knowledge of basic concepts appeared to benefit from the intervention. The study, therefore, provides strong evidence for the efficacy of such interventions in enhancing communication development in a real-life setting.

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