ASHA journals
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Participation-focused intervention (Baylor & Darling-White, 2020)

journal contribution
posted on 2020-05-28, 19:18 authored by Carolyn Baylor, Meghan Darling-White
Introduction: The World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health calls on speech-language pathologists (SLPs) to provide care that impacts all aspects of an individual’s experience with a communication disorder, including their participation in valued life situations. However, SLPs often report feeling unprepared to implement and document interventions that target life participation. The purpose of this article is to propose a framework to guide participation-focused intervention practices. This age- and disorder-generic framework is designed to be applicable with clients across the variety of settings in which SLPs work.
Method: In this clinical focus article, we draw on past research and clinical experience to propose a restructuring of World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health components such that participation is the primary focus and outcomes indicator for intervention. In this framework, a specific communicative participation situation is identified and assessed quantitatively, and a corresponding participation-focused goal is established through shared decision making. Following that, assessments are conducted and goals are established in the areas of communication skills, physical and social environments, and personal perspectives.
Results: The proposed framework provides a concrete organizational structure as well as assessment, goal-writing, and intervention examples to assist SLPs in translating theoretical biopsychosocial frameworks into clinical practices.
Conclusions: SLPs can and do provide holistic communication services to clients to help them achieve their life participation goals. This article provides an example as to how we can document the need for, as well as the value and impact of our important work, meeting the diverse life participation needs of clients.

Supplemental Material S1. Blank diagram and clinical form to document goals and data.

Supplemental Material S2. Shortened guide to structuring intervention to improve communication participation.

Baylor, C., & Darling-White, M. (2020). Achieving participation-focused intervention through shared decision making: Proposal of an age- and disorder-generic framework. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication.


This work is supported in part by a grant from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (R01 DC012510, awarded to Baylor).