Evidence-based practice guidelines and systematic reviews: little bit of reading, whole lot of reward!
What’s the #1 thing SLPs cite as a barrier to knowing the research evidence? Time constraints (Hoffman et al., 2013; Nail-Chewetalu & Ratner, 2006). And of course we can't magically gift ourselves several extra hours per week. But even saving a little time, with things like EBP guidelines (Fey, 2006), can help! Overall, reading EBP guidelines and systematic reviews is a whole lot more manageable than trying to learn something new by approaching the topic cold, attempting to search databases, and digging for relevant articles.
So, without further ado—our favorite resources for EBP Guidelines & Systematic Reviews:
ASHA Practice Portal (Speech–Language Pathology)
Similar to information you’d find in a newly-published textbook, but shorter. Represents a broad consensus on what we know about a certain topic to-date. A good place to start to make sure you know what you’re doing, but often not enough information for experienced clinicians.
ASHA’s Systematic Review Page (Speech–Language Pathology)
Nothing fancy, just links to good stuff!
Autism PDD’s EBP Guides (Autism)
Note that these are videos, and you have to create a login to view them. But it’s FREE!
Best Evidence Encyclopedia (Education)
For educators. And because it’s educationally-focused, you will only find topics that have overlap with educators’ scope (so: reading, yes; stuttering: no).
Campbell Collaboration (Social–Economic)
A database of systematic reviews on social–economic issues.
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (Medical)
Another database of systematic reviews, but bigger, and with a medical focus. NOTE: There aren’t many reviews here that are clearly applicable to school-based SLPs, but tons appropriate for hospital-based SLPs (e.g. on feeding, stroke, etc.) It’s truly one of the top resources for health care research reviews.
MUSEC Briefings (Special Education)
From Macquarie University
Pearson EBP Briefs (Speech–Language Pathology)
Pearson *knows us*.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services National Guideline Clearinghouse (Medical)
Medical resource; but still over 30 guidelines for speech–language pathologists.
What Works Clearinghouse (Education)
Another educationally-focused one. But the reports are fantastic (e.g. here).
Happy reading, #slpeeps!
Oh, and P.S.
To avoid that 'holy crap this is a ton of reading' feeling... which often results in giving up, we recommend this:
Fey, M. (2006). Commentary on “Making Evidence-Based Decisions About Child Language Intervention in Schools” by Gillam and Gillam. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 37, 316–319.
Hoffman, L.M., Ireland, M., Hall-Mills, S., Flynn, P. (2013). Evidence-based speech-language pathology practices in schools: findings from a national survey. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 44, 266–280.
Nail-Chiwetalu, B., & Bernstein Ratner, N. (2006). Information literacy for speech-language pathologists: a key to evidence-based practice. Language, Speech and Hearing Services in Schools, 37, 157–167.