The SLP Guide to Evidence-Based Practice
What is Evidence-Based Practice (EBP)?
- As a clinician, you have a responsibility to use treatments backed by research.
- It’s necessary to use your own clinical expertise to judge the validity of evidence.
- You’re responsible for factoring your client into the decision. Are the cost-benefit trade-offs reasonable for this client? What do you know about the client that may make them receptive or not receptive to a treatment? Can their families properly support them throughout a specific treatment?
What is Evidence-Based Research?
SLP Evidence-Based Practice Examples
Why is Evidence-Based Practice Important in Speech Pathology?
Common Barriers to Accessing Evidence-Based Research
What if Good Evidence Is Not Available?
- Start by referring to the same clinical question you asked as you tried to look for evidence.
- Create a treatment plan to generate your own data.
- Formulate hypotheses and run an experiment.
- Analyze outcomes and keep track of them. Use your data to guide future treatment.
How to Use Evidence Based Practice as a Speech Language Pathologist
1. Define what you want to know
- What type of disorder are you looking at among what age group?
- What treatment for this disorder are you evaluating?
- Are you interested in a before and after comparison or a comparison to other treatments?
- What’s the goal of implementing this treatment in terms of specific improvements?
2. Locate and evaluate evidence
Several study consensus
- Systematic Review: A rigorous summary of existing evidence. Systematic reviews are helpful to consult when you want to compare more than one type of treatment or intervention.
- Meta-Analysis: A statistical analysis of the results of several studies that examines weighted significance of the treatment. A meta-analysis can uncover reasons why there’s either a common effect or why there’s a variation among the effects of multiple studies.
- Randomized Controlled: Randomization helps eliminate bias, which means higher-quality data and the identification of causal relationships.
- Non-Randomized Controlled: While non-randomized controlled studies have clear objectives and results, there may be bias in these studies because the researcher is manipulating the placement and selection of the subjects.
- Quasi-Experimental: With quasi-experimental research, the independent variable is manipulated, but participants aren’t randomly assigned to conditions or condition order. This means there may be confounding variables affecting the outcome of the research.
- Non-Experimental Studies Observing Cases or Correlation: With non-experimental studies observing cases or correlation, there are clear results but no way to determine the cause of those results.
3. Evaluate evidence for credibility and real-life practicality
4. Design and implement treatment protocols
5. Evaluate effectiveness
6. Remember the evidence-based practice process is continuous
Evidence-Based Practice Resources for Speech Pathologists
Using Continuing Education and Conferences for Evidence-Based Practice
- Medbridge offers hundreds of excellent evidenced-based online speech CEUs. You can filter by population, setting, topic and more.
- Conferences also give you the opportunity to sit in CEU sessions where the latest research is discussed.