Optimizing outcomes for children with phonological impairment: A systematic search and review of outcome and experience measures reported in intervention research

Elise Baker, Sarah Masso, Kylie Huyn, Ellie Sugdena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


PURPOSE: Reporting of outcome and experience measures is critical to our understanding of the effect of intervention for speech sound disorders (SSD) in children. There is currently no agreed-upon set of measures for reporting intervention outcomes and experiences. In this article, we introduce the Speech Outcome Reporting Taxonomy (SORT), a tool designed to assist with the classification of outcome and experience measures. In a systematic search and review using the SORT, we explore the type and frequency of these measures reported in intervention research addressing phonological impairment in children. Given the integral relationship between intervention fidelity and intervention outcomes, reporting of fidelity is also examined.

METHOD: Five literature databases were searched to identify articles written or translated into English published between 1975 and 2020. Using the SORT, outcome and experience measures were extracted and categorized. The number of intervention studies reporting fidelity was determined.

RESULTS: A total of 220 articles met inclusion criteria. The most frequently reported outcome domain was broad generalization measures ( n = 142, 64.5%), followed by specific measures of generalization of an intervention target ( n = 133, 60.5%). Eleven (5.0%) articles reported measures of the impact of the phonological impairment on children's activity, participation, quality of life, or others. Twenty articles (9.1%) reported on parent, child, or clinician experience or child engagement. Fidelity data were reported for 13.4% of studies of interventions.

CONCLUSIONS: The measurement of intervention outcomes is challenging yet important. No single type of measure was reported across all articles. Through using tailored measures closely related to intervention targets in combination with a universal set of measures of intelligibility, the impact of phonological impairment on children's lives, and the experience of receiving and providing intervention, researchers and clinicians could work together to progress insights and innovations in science and practice for children with SSD.

SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL: https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.19497803.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)732-748
Number of pages17
JournalLanguage, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 06 Jul 2022


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