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A tablet-based intervention (Jesus et al., 2019)

journal contribution
posted on 23.10.2019 by Luis M. T. Jesus, Joana Martinez, Joaquim Santos, Andreia Hall, Victoria Joffe
Purpose: This article reports on the effectiveness of a novel tablet-based approach to phonological intervention and compares it to a traditional tabletop approach, targeting children with phonologically based speech sound disorders (SSD).
Method: Twenty-two Portuguese children with phonologically based SSD were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 interventions, tabletop or tablet (11 children in each group), and received intervention based on the same activities, with the only difference being the delivery. All children were treated by the same speech-language pathologist over 2 blocks of 6 weekly sessions, for 12 sessions of intervention. Participants were assessed at 3 time points: baseline; pre-intervention, after a 3-month waiting period; and post-intervention. Outcome measures included percentage of consonants correct, percentage of vowels correct, and percentage of phonemes correct. A generalization of target sounds was also explored.
Results: Both tabletop and tablet-based interventions were effective in improving percentage of consonants correct and percentage of phonemes correct scores, with an intervention effect only evident for percentage of vowels correct in the tablet group. Change scores across both interventions were significantly greater after the intervention, compared to baseline, indicating that the change was due to the intervention. High levels of generalization (60% and above for the majority of participants) were obtained across both tabletop and tablet groups.
Conclusions: The software proved to be as effective as a traditional tabletop approach in treating children with phonologically based SSD. These findings provide new evidence regarding the use of digital materials in improving speech in children with SSD.

Supplemental Material S1. Details about every child’s percentage of consonants correct (PCC), phonetic inventory and phonological processes.

Supplemental Material S2. Detailed description of activities included in tabletop and tablet interventions.

Jesus, L. M. T., Martinez, J., Santos, J., Hall, A., & Joffe, V. (2019). Comparing traditional and tablet-based intervention for children with speech sound disorders: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2019_JSLHR-S-18-0301


This research was funded by national funds through the Foundation for Science and Technology, in the context of projects UID/CEC/00127/2019 and UID/MAT/04106/2019. The work presented in this article resulted from the Table-to-Tablet project (http://t2t.web.ua.pt/) funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Portugal.