Authors: Namasivayam AK, Pukonen M, Goshulak D, Hard J, Rudzicz F, Rietveld T, Maassen B, Kroll R, van Lieshout P
Title: Treatment intensity and childhood apraxia of speech
Source: International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders 2015 50(4): 529-546
Year: 2015
Research Design: Non Randomised Controlled Trial
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Background: Intensive treatment has been repeatedly recommended for the treatment of speech deficits in childhood apraxia of speech (CAS). However, differences in treatment outcomes as a function of treatment intensity have not been systematically studied in this population. Aim: To investigate the effects of treatment intensity on outcome measures related to articulation, functional communication and speech intelligibility for children with CAS undergoing individual motor speech intervention. Methods & Procedures: A total of 37 children (32–54 months of age) with CAS received 1×/week (lower intensity) or 2×/week (higher intensity) individual motor speech treatment for 10 weeks. Assessments were carried out before and after a 10-week treatment block to study the effects of variations in treatment intensity on the outcome measures. Outcomes & Results:The results indicated that only higher intensity treatment (2×/week) led to significantly better outcomes for articulation and functional communication compared with 1×/week (lower intensity) intervention. Further, neither lower nor higher intensity treatment yielded a significant change for speech intelligibility at the word or sentence level. In general, effect sizes for the higher intensity treatment groups were larger for most variables compared with the lower intensity treatment group. Conclusions & Implications: Overall, the results of the current study may allow for modification of service delivery and facilitate the development of an evidence-based care pathway for children with CAS.

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