Authors: Bellon-Harn ML
Title: Dose frequency: Comparison of language outcomes in preschool children with language impairment
Source: Child Language Teaching and Therapy 2012 28(2): 225-240
Year: 2012
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 05/10
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 - Y

Data regarding treatment intensity provide evidence for service delivery decision-making in schools. In this pilot study, dose frequency effects (i.e. number of therapy sessions per week) on semantic and morphologic abilities in preschool children, ages 4;0 to 5;3 years of age, with language impairment were examined. Children enrolled in a concentrated treatment schedule (4 times per week for 6 weeks) were compared to children enrolled in a distributed treatment schedule (2 times per week for 12 weeks) using a pretest/posttest design. A concentrated schedule provides more therapy per week for fewer weeks than a distributed schedule. Therapy following a scaffolded-language structure with implicit strategies was used. Results indicate positive outcomes following both a concentrated and distributed schedules. No differences between groups were noted. Results suggest goal attainment of semantic and morphologic aspects of language within a school setting could occur in a variety of scheduling frameworks.

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