A systematic review of the association between childhood speech impairment and participation across the lifespan

Jane McCormack, Sharynne McLeod, Lindy McAllister, Linda Harrison

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Speech impairment of unknown origin is one of the most common communication impairments in childhood. The purpose of this systematic review was to identify limitations in life activities that may be associated with speech impairment, through analysing the findings of papers published in the past ten years. Domains from the Activities and Participation component of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF; World Health Organization, 2001) were used as search terms, and resulted in fifty-seven papers being identified. Findings from each paper were reviewed in terms of the association between speech impairment and Activity Limitations and/or Participation Restrictions as defined by the ICF. The systematic review revealed that speech impairment in childhood may be associated with the following Activity Limitations and/or Participation Restrictions: learning to read/reading, learning to write/writing, focussing attention and thinking, calculating, communication, mobility, self-care, relating to persons in authority, informal relationships with friends/peers, parent-child relationships, sibling relationships, school education, and acquiring, keeping and terminating a job.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-170
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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