Authors: Gillam SL, Gillam RB, Reece K
Title: Language Outcomes of Contextualized and Decontextualized Language Intervention: Results of an Early Efficacy Study
Source: Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools 2012 43(3): 276-291
Year: 2012
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 07/10
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 - Y
Between-group comparisons - Y
Point estimates and variability - Y

Purpose: The purpose of this early efficacy study (Fey & Finestack, 2009) was to determine whether a new contextualized language intervention (CLI) or an existing decontextualized language intervention (DLI) resulted in greater changes in children's language and narration in comparison to a no-treatment condition (CON). Method: Sixteen children between the ages of 6;0 (years; months) and 9;0 were randomly assigned to the CLI and DLI groups. Eight similar-age children from the no-treatment phase of a separate study acted as a control group. Children in the CLI and DLI conditions received 50-min group intervention sessions 3 times per week for 6 weeks. Sentence-and discourse-level measures were administered to assess intervention outcomes. Results: Both interventions were associated with statistically significant gains on sentence- and discourse-level measures when compared to a no-treatment condition. Effect size analyses demonstrated that the CLI group outperformed the DLI group on all outcome measures. Conclusion: The results revealed signs of efficacy in an intervention approach in which clinicians treated multiple linguistic targets using meaningful activities with high levels of topic continuity. With some minor revisions, this intervention should be ready to be tested in a larger, more costly, and more internally valid efficacy study.

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