Fischer (2018)

January 4, 2020

ANALYSIS GUIDELINES

Nonintervention Research

NOTE:

  • No summary of intervention is included in the review.

KEY:

eta =   partial eta squared

MLU = mean length of utterance

NA = Not Applicable

P = participant or patient

pmh = Patricia Hargrove, blog developer

SLP = speech-language pathologist 

SOURCE:  Fischer, S. E. (2018). Speech-language pathologists and prosody: Knowledge and clinical practices.Undergraduate thesis from Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Mississippi retrieved from http://thesis.honors.olemiss.edu/id/eprint/1240 

REVIEWER(S): pmh

DATE:  January 1, 2020 

ASSIGNED GRADE FOR OVERALL QUALITY:  Not graded, this is not intervention research 

TAKE AWAY: This survey research revealed that speech-language pathologists (SLPs) report prosody is within their scope of practice but that they generally perceive they have insufficient knowledge about prosodic assessment and intervention as well as the nature of prosody and prosodic impairments. Moreover, the majority of the SLPs report that they are uncomfortable treating prosody and a large percentage of them typically do not assess or treat prosody. The survey listed several treatment activities the SLPs used when targeting prosody.  

  1. What type of evidence was identified?
  • What was the type of design? Descriptive Research, Survey
  • What was the focus of the research?Clinically Related
  • What was the level of support associated with the type of evidence? Not graded because it was not intervention research.

                                                                                                           

  1. Group membership determination:
  • If there were groups, were participants randomly assigned to groups? Not Applicable (NA), the survey focused on one group of participants (Ps).
  • If there were multiple groups and Ps were not randomly assigned to groups, were members of groups carefully matched? NA       

 

  1. Were conditions concealed?
  • from participants?No
  • from administrators of experimental conditions? No
  • from analyzers/judges? NA

                                                                    

  1. Was the group adequately described? Yes

   How many participants were involved in the study?

  • total # of Ps: 269
  • # of groups: 1
  • Did all group members maintain membership throughout the investigation? Yes

 

–  CONTROLLED CHARACTERISTICS                                                  

  • ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence:required

 

–  DESCRIBED CHARACTERISTICS

  • number of different states: 34
  • gender: f = 258; m = 11
  • ethnic/racial category:  Caucasian = 255; Black/African American = 7; Asian – 2; preferred not to respond = 3 
  • state earned highest degree:most frequent states were Illinois, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota
  • year earned Master’s degree:

     –  1968-1980 = 23

     –  1981-1990 = 60

     –  1991-2000 = 65

     –  2001-2005 = 20

     –  2006-2010 = 33

     –  2011-2016 = 50

  • earned a Doctorate:17
  • workplace:varied but the most common were elementary school, preschool, middle school/junior high school
  • number of clients each month:average 44.5; range 2 to 240

 

–  Were the groups similar?  NA

                                                         

–  Were the communication problems adequately described?  NA, the Ps in this investigation did not have a clinical condition; rather, they were SLPs.

 

  1. What were the different conditions for this research? NA this was survey

                                                                                                             

  1. Were the groups controlled acceptably? NA

 

  1. Were outcome questions appropriate and meaningful?

Yes ___      No  ___    Unclear  ___     Not Applicable ____

  • QUESTION TYPE #1: Questions about perceived importance of prosody and its impact on clients
  • QUESTION TYPE #2: Questions about the concern for and impact of prosodic disturbances in selected clinical populations.
  • QUESTION TYPE #3: Questions about the most commonly observed prosodic impairments in their clients
  • QUESTION TYPE #4: Questions about the adequacy of SLPs’ training regarding prosody
  • QUESTION TYPE #5: Questions about SLPs’ clinical practice relating to prosody

–  All questions were subjective.

–  Noneof  the question types were objective.

 

  1. Were reliability measures provided?
  • Interobserver for analyzers? No
  • Intraobserver for analyzers? No
  • Treatment or test administration fidelity for investigators? No å

 

  1. Description of design:
  • The investigation was a nonexperimental, descriptive survey. The email-based surveys were distributed in 2 ways: at an Institute at the University of Mississippi and through requests to each of the 50 State Associations in which it was requested that the survey be distributed to the members of the association.
  • Ps were given the opportunity to enter a lottery to receive an Amazon gift card.
  • The survey comprised 3 sections: characteristics of the Ps, the prosody questions, and literacy questions. Only the prosody P characteristics and the prosody we presented in the Honors Thesis under review.
  • The prosody section focused on

–  Ps’ knowledge of prosody and its importance/impact to clients,

–  Ps’ education regarding prosody and prosody impairment, and

–  Ps’ practice regarding prosodic assessment and treatment.

  • The question styles used in the survey were

–  Likert questions [statements followed by categories from which P selects one choice from a range (i.e., ‘strongly agree’ to ‘strongly disagree’)],

–  multiple choice questions,

–  fill-in-the-blank questions, and

–  open-ended questions.

  • Ps were not required to respond to all the questions; accordingly, the number of responses to the questions varied.

 

  1. What were the results of the statistical (inferential) testing? NA, inferential statistics were not calculated.

 

  1. Summary of correlational results: NA, correlational statistics were not calculated.

 

  1. Summary of descriptive results: Qualitative research

 

  • QUESTION TYPE #1: Questions about perceived importance of prosody and its impact on clients

–  Most SLPs (>88%) reported that prosody was in their scope of practice and that prosody affected clients’ ability to communicate (>84%), intelligibility (>82%) as well as listeners’ perception of the client (>94%).

 

  • QUESTION TYPE #2: Questions about the concern for and impact of prosodic disturbances in selected clinical populations.

–  The SLPs reported that prosody impairments were most likely identified in the following clinical conditions

∞ Autism Spectrum Disorder,

∞ Developmental Apraxia of Speech, and

∞  Dysarthria.

 

  • QUESTION TYPE #3: Questions about the most commonly observed prosodic impairments in their clients

–  The aspects of prosody that were most likely to be involved in prosodic impairment were

∞  pitch,

∞  loudness, and

∞  affective prosody.

 

  • QUESTION TYPE #4: Questions about the adequacy of SLPs’ training regarding prosody

–  Few (26.2%) of the SLPs reported that their prosodic education was adequate with assessment (<18% positive judgments) and treatment (20% positive judgments) being particularly low.

–  Few SLPs (13.4%) reported that there was sufficient continuing education available focusing on prosody.

 

  • QUESTION TYPE #5: Questions about SLPs’ clinical practice relating to prosody

–  Most (67%) of the SLPs reported that prosody was a low priority to them.

     –  Most SLPs (<63%) do not assess prosody when faced with a potential prosodic impairment and the combined categories indicating that  prosody is rarely or never targeted in therapy was approximately 47% of the Ps.

     –  Few SLPs believed that they would know how to assess (<27%) or treat (<36%) client with a prosodic impairment.

–   Few  SLPs (<20%) were comfortable treating prosody compared to other aspects of communication and literacy.

–  Appendix D contains a listing of prosodic interventions/treatments used by the Ps.

 

  1. Brief summary of clinically relevant results:

 

  • Although SLPs consider prosody to be within their scope of practice and important communicatively, most (63.8%) do not assess prosody when faced with a potential prosodic impairment and prosody is rarely or never targeted (about 47%) in treatment. Nevertheless, some SLPs do target prosody and Appendix D of this Honors Thesis lists prosodic interventions used by the Ps.

 

ASSIGNED GRADE FOR QUALITY OF EXTERNAL EVIDENCE:Not graded, this was not an intervention investigation.

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