Research Article  |   February 2011
Clinical and Research Perspectives on Nonspeech Oral Motor Treatments and Evidence-Based Practice
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Tim Brackenbury
    Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH
  • Contact author: Tim Brackenbury, Bowling Green State University, Communication Disorders, 200 Health Center Building, Bowling Green, OH 43403. E-mail: tbracke@bgsu.edu.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Research Article
Research Article   |   February 2011
Clinical and Research Perspectives on Nonspeech Oral Motor Treatments and Evidence-Based Practice
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2011, Vol. 20, 47-59. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2010/09-0106)
History: Received December 7, 2009 , Revised May 27, 2010 , Accepted November 11, 2010
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2011, Vol. 20, 47-59. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2010/09-0106)
History: Received December 7, 2009; Revised May 27, 2010; Accepted November 11, 2010

Purpose: Evidence-based practice (EBP) involves the incorporation of research evidence, clinical expertise, and client values in clinical decision making. One case in which these factors conflict is the use of nonspeech oral motor treatments (NSOMTs) for children with developmental speech sound disorders. Critical reviews of the research evidence suggest that NSOMTs are not valid, yet they are widely used by clinicians based on their expertise/experience. This investigation presents detailed descriptions of clinicians' and researchers' views and opinions on NSOMTs and EBP.

Method: Individual interviews with 11 clinicians who use NSOMTs and 11 researchers in child phonology were conducted. The interviews were transcribed and organized into themes, following a phenomenological research design.

Results: Five themes were identified: (a) NSOMTs are effective, (b) EBP is useful, (c) there is no published research supporting NSOMTs, (d) research evidence may change clinical use of NSOMTs, and (e) researchers and clinicians have separate but shared roles in clinical decision making.

Conclusions: The participants' responses provided detailed and complex insights into each group’s decisions regarding NSOMTs. These responses also suggested questions that should be considered when making decisions about approaches that are not fully supported by EBP.

Acknowledgments
The authors would like to thank Mark Earley for his assistance with the research design. Preliminary data from this study were presented at the 2007 ASHA Annual Convention in Boston, MA.
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