Use of Evidenced-Based Practice in the field of Speech-Language Pathology
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“Evidence-based practice is the integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values” (ASHA). Staff of ASHA embarked upon the new idea of Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) in 2005. The goal of EBP is the integration of: clinical expertise/expert opinion, external scientific evidence, and client/patient/caregiver perspective to provide high-quality services reflecting the interests, values, needs, and choices of the individuals we serve (ASHA). The four steps of EBP include: framing the clinical question, finding the evidence to suppose the question, assessing the evidence, and making the clinical decision. Researchers have studied the status of current implementation of EBP in the field, challenges to implement EBP, the debate of adopting EBP framework in our field, and the use of EBP in SLP practice and EBP knowledge.
When practicing in public schools, it is mandated that speech-language pathologist (SLP) utilize EBP when providing services to children with or without disabilities. IDEA requires that each student’s individualized education program include a statement of services “based on peer-reviewed research, to the extent practicable” (Hoffman, Ireland, Hall-Mills, & Flynn, 2013). Sackett, Straus, Richardson, Roesnberg, and Haynes created 5 discrete steps related to EBP in the public school setting. These steps include: ask the question, search for evidence, evaluate evidence, make the decision, and evaluate the outcomes (Hoffman, Ireland, Hall-Mills, & Flynn, 2013). SLP’s analyze each step with each child in order to develop a differential diagnosis. Other relatable connections to EBP include periodic reports on the progress the child is making toward meeting his/her annual goal and how their p...
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ASHA proposed the idea of EBP about 5 years ago. As the years progressed, implementing EBP in our field has increased, but it has not reached its highest capacity. There are many challenges that reduce implantation of EBP in our field. These challenges may include ………… In addition, some current SLP’s have not been trained on EBP, which decreases the involvement of EBP in clinical activities. SLP’s that work in public schools may not have time to schedule time to suppose EBP activities due to an overload of clients on their caseload. The papers only included school based and not rehabilitation or hospital base so I would have liked to compare use of EBP in different settings. ASHA needs to continue to promote EBP to increase SLPs awareness and try to reduce the challenges so that SLPs will feel comfortable in implementing EBP in their work.