Kuschke et al. (2016)

EBP THERAPY ANALYSIS for

Single Case Designs

 

NOTES:

  • The summary of the intervention procedure(s) can be viewed by scrolling about two-thirds of the way down on this page.

 

Key:

ASD = autism spectrum disoders

C = Clinician

EBP = evidence-based practice

NA = not applicable

P = Patient or Participant

pmh = Patricia Hargrove, blog developer

PVS = Prosodically Varied Speech

SLP = speech–language pathologist

 

SOURCE: Kuschke, S., Vinck, B. & Geertsema, S. (2016.) A combined prosodic and linguistic treatment approach for language-communication skills in children with autism spectrum disorders: A proof-of-concept study. South African Journal of Childhood Education, 6(1), a290. http://dx.doi. org/10.4102/sajce.v6i1.290

 

REVIEWER(S): pmh

 

DATE: January 28, 2016

 

ASSIGNED OVERALL GRADE: D (This grade is not a judgment of the quality of the intervention. Rather, this grade reflects the quality of the evidence supporting the intervention. For this investigation, the highest possible grade associated with the design, Case Studies, is a D+.)

 

TAKE AWAY: This preliminary investigation into the effectiveness of a linguistic-prosodic intervention with South African children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ADS) revealed that a short dose of therapy was associated with improvement in listening, pragmatic, and social interaction outcomes.

                                                                                                                       

 

  1. What was the focus of the research? Clinical Research

 

 

  1. What type of evidence was identified?
  • What type of single subject design was used? Case Studie – Description with Pre and Post Test Results

                                                                                                           

  • What was the level of support associated with the type of evidence? Level = D+

                                                                                                           

  1. Was phase of treatment concealed?
  • from participants? No
  • from clinicians? No
  • from data analyzers? No

 

 

  1. Were the participants (Ps) adequately described? Yes

 

–  How many Ps were involved in the study? 3

 

–  CONTROLLED CHARACTERISTICS:

  • age: 6:0 to 8:11
  • diagnosis of ASD: based on APA (1994)
  • primary language: English or Afrikaans
  • receptive language: evidence of problems with listening
  • communication status: at least some functional speech; evidence of problems with pragmatic/discourse and social interaction skills
  • educational status participants: all enrolled in school
  • hearing: “minimal hyperhearing”
  • current speech-language therapy: not to be enrolled concurrent with the investigation

 

– DESCRIBED CHARACTERISTICS:

  • age: 6:7 to 8:4
  • gender: all male
  • age at diagnosis of ASD: 3:2 to 6:1
  • severity of ASD: moderate (2); severe (1)
  • home language: Afrikaans (1); English (2)
  • expressive language:

– 2 word utterances (1)

     – 1 word utterances (1)

     – sentence (1)

                                                 

– Were the communication problems adequately described? Unclear

                                                                                                             

–   The types of communication disorders included

     – listening problems,

     – pragmatic skill problems;

     – social interaction problems,

     – limited functional communication,

     – hyperhearing (limited)

 

                                                                                                                       

  1. Was membership in treatment maintained throughout the study? Yes

 

                

  • If there was more than one participant, did at least 80% of the participants remain in the study? Yes

 

  • Were any data removed from the study? No

 

 

  1. Did the design include appropriate controls? No, these were case studies

                                                                      

  • Were baseline/preintervention data collected on all behaviors? Yes

 

  • Did probes/intervention data include untrained stimuli? Yes

 

  • Did probes/intervention data include trained stimuli? No

 

  • Was the data collection continuous? No

 

  • Were different treatment counterbalanced or randomized? Not Applicable (NA)

 

 

  1. Were the outcome measures appropriate and meaningful? Yes

 

– The outcomes were

 

  • OUTCOME #1: Improved listening skills on the Listening Skills Observation Checklist
  • OUTCOME #2: Improved pragmatic skills on the Assessment of Pragmatic Skills Checklist
  • OUTCOME #3: Improved social interaction performance on the Autism Index on the Gilliam Autism Rating Scale

 

All the outcomes were subjective.

 

None of the outcomes were objective.

 

– There was some interobserver reliability data:

  • Combining scores from all 3 outcomes, 98.3% agreement

 

 

  1. Results:

 

Did the target behavior(s) improve when treated? Yes, for the most part.

 

The overall quality of improvement for each of the outcomes was

 

  • OUTCOME #1: Improved listening skills on the Listening Skills Observation Checklist: strong (2Ps); moderate 1P
  • OUTCOME #2: Improved pragmatic skills on the Assessment of Pragmatic Skills Checklist strong (2Ps); limited 1P
  • OUTCOME #3: Improved social interaction performance on the Autism Index on the Gilliam Autism Rating Scale—strong (2Ps); ineffective 1P

 

 

  1. Description of baseline:

 

— Were baseline data provided? Yes

 

– The number of data points for each of the outcomes was

 

  • OUTCOME #1: Improved listening skills on the Listening Skills Observation Checklist – 3 probes
  • OUTCOME #2: Improved pragmatic skills on the Assessment of Pragmatic Skills Checklist – 3 probes
  • OUTCOME #3: Improved performance on the Autism Index on the Gilliam Autism Rating Scale – 3 probes

 

 

– Was baseline low (or high, as appropriate) and stable?

 

  • OUTCOME #1: Improved listening skills on the Listening Skills Observation Checklist—baseline was low but since the data across the 3 sessions were averaged, stability can not be determined.

 

  • OUTCOME #2: Improved pragmatic skills on the Assessment of Pragmatic Skills Checklist baseline was low but since the data across the 3 sessions were averaged, stability can not be determined.

 

  • OUTCOME #3: Improved social interaction performance on the Autism Index (Gilliam Autism Rating Scale) baseline was high (which indicates more characteristics associated with ASD) but since the data across the 3 sessions were averaged, stability can not be determined.

                                                       

– Was the percentage of nonoverlapping data (PND) provided?

 

 

  1. What is the clinical significanceNA, data concerned with the magnitude of the change were not reported.

 

 

  1. Was information about treatment fidelity adequate? Not Provided

 

 

  1. Were maintenance data reported? Yes
  • Each of the outcomes was probed in a single session 4 weeks after the termination of therapy. The investigators did not report the maintenance data but , in the Discussion, noted that there was a “marked decline.”

 

 

  1. Were generalization data reported? Yes
  • All the outcomes could be considered to be generalizations because they were not directly targeted during the intervention.

 

 

  1. Brief description of the design:
  • There were 4 phases in the design of this investigation:

– Phase 1: 1 week in which the 3 outcomes were measured on 3 separate occasions

– Phase 2: 3 weeks of treatment for a total of 6 sessions

– Phase 3: 1 week after the termination of intervention, during the post-intervention phase, the 3 outcomes were measured 2 time

– Phase 4: 3 weeks after the post tests, the 3 outcomes were measured one more time to ascertain maintenance

 

  • The clinician (C) treated each P individually in 30 minute sessions, 2 times a week for 3 weeks.

 

  • Treatment aims, procedures, and rationales were clearly described in a table and in the appendix.

 

  • Analysis of the data was descriptive.

 

 

ASSIGNED OVERALL GRADE OF THE QUALITY OF SUPPORT FOR THE INTERVENTION: D

 

 

SUMMARY OF INTERVENTION

 

PURPOSE: To determine if an intervention involving traditional language therapy paired with prosodically varied speech has potential to improve listening, pragmatic, and social interaction skills.

 

POPULATION: Autism Spectrum Disorders; Children

 

MODALITY TARGETED: production, comprehension

 

 

ELEMENTS OF PROSODY USED AS INTERVENTION (part of independent variable: pitch, stress, rhythm

 

OTHER ASPECTS OF LANGUAGE/COMMUNICATION TARGETED: listening, pragmatics, social interaction

 

 

DOSAGE: 30 minute sessions, 2 times a week, for 3 weeks

 

ADMINISTRATOR: SLP

 

 

MAJOR COMPONENTS:

 

  • The investigators described the intervention as traditional language therapy paired with prosodically varied speech.

 

  • The investigators provided a thorough description of the intervention in Table 2 and in the Appendix.

 

  • For selected treatment activities, P employed Prosodically Varied Speech (PVS) that uses 2 aspects of prosody (2 pitches and stress) while intoning a phrase.

 

  • Each session included several activities. C explained the procedures for each treatment activity as it was introduced to P.

 

  • The treatment activities included

 

– Facilitation of Whole Body Listening: C used a toy to encourage listening.

 

– Development of Routine (e.g., greeting, joint attention, eye contact): C modeled a song with variations in pitch and P imitateed C phrase by phrase.

 

– Object Naming: If P did not respond appropriately to a naming request, C modeled the phrase “This is a …..” using PVS and P imitated the C..

 

– Nonverbal Imitation and Turn-Taking: C beat a rhythm on an empty coffee can and P imitated C’s rhythm.

 

– Following One-Step Instructions: C named the color of a block using PVS and then, still using PVS directed P to complete an action using PVS.

 

– Picture Description: C provided art materials to P (e.g., crayons, pencils, stencils.)   C modeled a sentence describing the artwork and then C asked questions about the artwork using PVS.

 

– Categorization: Using PVS, C identified an item (“This is an apple”) and then directed P to “Give the red fruit” or asked P to find all the apples among an array of fruits.

 

– Requesting Behavior: C showed an item of potential interest (e.g., bubbles) to P. If P did not spontaneously request it, C (using PVS) asked P if he would like the item.

 

– Role Playing and Object Function: C constructed a play scenario with P (e.g., tending to a sick toy animal.) C verbally described the steps in caring for the toy and then questioned P about the steps.

 

– Redirection: When P’s attention wandered, C redirected him to the task by singing a familiar song. The task was initiated by C describing the steps in the task (C models song, unison singing, P singing alone.)

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