Daily or weekly? The role of treatment frequency in the effectiveness of grammar treatment for children with specific language impairment

Karen Smith-Lock*, Suze Leitão, Lara Lambert, Polly Prior, Anne Dunn, Julia Cronje, Sara Newhouse, Lyndsey Nickels

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study compared the effectiveness of a school-based treatment for expressive grammar in 5-year-olds with specific language impairment delivered in two different dose frequencies: eight sessions delivered daily over 8 consecutive school days or eight sessions delivered weekly over 8 consecutive weeks. Eighteen children received treatment daily and 13 children received treatment weekly. In both groups, treatment consisted of eight 1-hour sessions of small group activities in a classroom setting. Techniques included explicit instruction, focused stimulation, recasting, and imitation. Results were analysed at the group level and as a case series with each child as their own control in a single-subject design. The 8-weeks group showed significantly greater gain in test scores over the treatment period than in an equal time period prior to treatment, whereas the 8-days group did not (Cohen's d = 1.64 for 8-weeks group). Single-subject analyses indicated that 46% of children in the 8-week group and 17% of children in the 8-day group showed a significant treatment effect. It is concluded that expressive grammar treatment was most effective when dose frequency was weekly over 8 weeks rather than daily over 8 days for 5-year-old children with specific language impairment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-267
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

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