Authors: Thordardottir E, Rioux EJ
Title: Does Efficacy Equal Lasting Impact? A Study of Intervention Short Term Gains, Impact on Diagnostic Status, and Association with Background Variables
Source: Folia Phoniatrica et Logopedica 2019 71(2-3): 71-82
Year: 2019
Research Design: Case Series

OBJECTIVE: This article examines the efficacy of language intervention services for monolingual and immigrant children in a public clinic in Montreal, Canada. Intervention is provided in French for a preset number of sessions regardless of intervention needs. The study assessed immediate gains after intervention, their maintenance over 2 months, and their effect on diagnostic status at both time points. METHODS: Participants included 15 children (57.7 months SD 7.8) diagnosed with developmental language disorder: 3 monolinguals and 12 bilingual immigrants. Intervention targeted vocabulary and syntax. Assessment of intervention targets and standardized testing was conducted before, after, and 2 months after treatment. Diagnostic status and severity level were assessed at each time point. RESULTS: Intervention was highly efficacious with large effect sizes for intervention targets. However, for diagnostic status, efficacy was more questionable. Seven children improved their diagnostic status from pre- to posttest; but many dropped back at maintenance point. For 3 children, all test time showed scores within the non-impaired range, indicating misdiagnosis or change in status while waiting for treatment. Amount of pain was not correlated with any background variable. CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that intervention could be more efficacious by giving more therapy sessions and conducting evaluation and treatment closer in time.

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