EBP and the SLP: What informs our practice?

**** click here for the chirpstory of this chat.


The emergence of numerous intervention techniques in the field of speech &
language pathology requires the professional to make sound clinical judgements to
ensure best practice in service delivery. In recent years Speech pathologists have
been called on to critically evaluate the literature and choose the best scientific
evidence to justify treatment decisions. This connection between best research
evidence and high quality clinical practice forms part of a term with which we as
professionals are now very well acquainted: “Evidence-Based Practice (EBP).

ASHA proposes a three pronged model of EBP that includes current best practice (published research and position statements by regulatory bodies and professional associations), clinical experience, and patient/client values. None of these three prongs is sufficient on its own, and all three prongs are important contributors to EBP in a clinical setting.

The position statement of the American Speech & Hearing Association (ASHA) on
EBP highlights that in making clinical practice evidence-based clinicians should:

  • recognize the needs, abilities, values, preferences, and interests of individuals and families to whom they provide clinical services, and integrate those factors along with best current research evidence and their clinical expertise in making clinical decisions;
  • acquire and maintain the knowledge and skills that are necessary to provide high quality professional services, including knowledge and skills related to evidence-based practice;
  • evaluate prevention, screening, and diagnostic procedures, protocols, and measures to identify maximally informative and cost-effective diagnostic and screening tools, using recognized appraisal criteria described in the evidence-based practice literature;
  • evaluate the efficacy, effectiveness, and efficiency of clinical protocols for prevention, treatment, and enhancement using criteria recognized in the evidence-based practice literature;
  • evaluate the quality of evidence appearing in any source or format, including journal articles, textbooks, continuing education offerings, newsletters, advertising, and Web-based products, prior to incorporating such evidence into clinical decision making; and
  • monitor and incorporate new and high quality research evidence having implications for clinical practice.

Does this sound like what you are doing in your practice? Tell us more!

Evidenced Based Practice and these ASHA guidelines will be the hot topics for
our next #slpchat, scheduled for Sunday, October 2nd at 6 pm Eastern Time. Join
us and let us know how you are using EBP in your practice and how it influences
treatment decisions and outcomes.

Some of the questions we will be discussing include:

Is any one prong of EBP more important than the others?

Is any one prong used more than the others?

Is any one prong stressed more than the others?

How big and what kind of role do you think patient/client values play ins EBP? Is there a time when you’ve considered it more carefully than other times? Why?

What influences your choice of intervention technique?

Do you thoroughly research new therapy techniques?

How applicable are these guidelines to speech pathologists working in the field?

Are we as clinicians consistently using these guidelines when making treatment

Is this really practical for the wide range of communication and swallowing
disorders which we encounter?

What challenges do you face that may hinder your ability to successfully engage in

Would you use intervention techniques that didn’t have the sound research base
behind them?

How can we attempt to incorporate EBP into our practice when there isn’t formal research on a given therapy technique?

We look forward to hearing your views and experiences. See you there!



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2 responses to “EBP and the SLP: What informs our practice?

  1. It would be nice if you could use this free service to announce the global times for these chats. What does 6pm ET mean to someone outside of your time zone? I suspect that good time for peopel in Australia to join in.


  2. Thanks for the comment/link, Malcolm. We used to do that in earlier posts, but have since let people discover it on their own or through Twitter. I am hoping some Australians will join in as it is 8 am in Brisbane and 8:30 in Adelaide (daylight savings is this weekend for them).

    I tend to announce the time zone stuff only on Twitter now but we can start putting them back into these blog posts too 🙂


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