The current study evaluates the use of evidence-based practice (EBPs) in schools by Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs). This study is a combination of two previous studies by Richard P. Zipoli, Jr. and Marianne Kennedy (2005), and by Timothy Meline and Teri Paradiso (2003). Zipoli and Kennedy surveyed 240 SLPs and found that most SLPs (99.6%) reported using more traditional than evidence-based sources of information to guide clinical decision making. Some barriers to EBP use included lack of time and professional development, while the years since the completion of graduate programs were a significant predictor of use of EBPs. School-based SLPs in Virginia recently needed graduate training in order to be licensed for school practice. EBP is instilled in undergraduate and graduate course work required for SLP licensure per best practices established by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). After 13 years, the current study will replicate these studies to see if any increase in the use of EBPs has occurred. The current research will also include five research questions from Meline and Paradiso’s survey of 27 SLPs from a geographically representative national sample. The five questions asked about the participants’ feelings and familiarity with research. Many SLPs responded with positive attitudes toward research and research literature. The current study will field an online anonymous survey through Qualtrics to a sample of SLPs employed in Virginia public schools. The survey is comprised of all items from Zipoli and Kennedy and the 5 most significant items from Meline and Paradiso. Researchers in the current study hope to see results of more EBP implementation among school-based SLPs and a reduction in the number of barriers to the use of EBPs than found in previous studies. This research can further encourage the development of EBPs that are specific to public school challenges faced by SLPs.

Additional Abstract Information

Student(s): MaHalea Scicchitano

Department: Communication Sciences and Disorders

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Laura Desportes Bowman

Type: Poster

Year: 2019

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