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Am J Speech Lang Pathol. 2011 Feb;20(1):47-59. doi: 10.1044/1058-0360(2010/09-0106). Epub 2010 Dec 20.

Clinical and research perspectives on nonspeech oral motor treatments and evidence-based practice.

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Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403, USA.



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.


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.


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.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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