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Evidence-based practice engagement in schools (Hall-Mills et al., 2023)

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posted on 2023-05-31, 22:10 authored by Shannon Hall-Mills, Marie Ireland, Perry F. Flynn, LaVae Hoffman

Purpose: We replicated a prior survey study (Hoffman et al., 2013) to document current evidence-based practice (EBP) patterns as reported by school-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs) during the 2021–2022 school year.

Method: Via an online survey, SLPs reported their training experiences and needs, workplace resources, and frequency of engagement in EBP activities.

Results: A total of 889 SLPs in 50 states participated in the survey. Results revealed that 19% of seasoned SLPs (with more than 10 years since last degree) had no formal training in EBP, 22% of SLPs worked in school districts with official EBP procedural guidelines, and 36% had scheduled time in their work week to support EBP activities. Early career (EC) professionals were more likely than seasoned career (SC) professionals to pose and research one or more EBP questions per year and to read journal articles about assessment and treatment. The gap in article use by experience groups was larger than a decade ago. Like prior survey results, the majority of SLPs read zero to four American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) journal articles on assessment or intervention per year, with similar results for reading non-ASHA journal articles.

Conclusions: Although the past decade has fostered some positive increases in the use of EBP resources and engagement in EBP activities, there continues to be a need for additional training and support for school-based SLPs to fully implement EBP. Training and implementation support should account for differences in training preferences and workplace resources and address differentiation of reported practices by EC versus SC professionals. Further implications for implementation science in schools are provided.

Supplemental Material S1. States with survey respondents (N = 564).

Supplemental Material S2. Percentage of respondents by career stage reporting each response option for formal EBP training.

Supplemental Material S3. Percentage of respondents by career stage reporting each response option for informal EBP training.

Hall-Mills, S., Ireland, M., Flynn, P. F., & Hoffman, L. (2023). School-based speech-language pathologists’ engagement with evidence-based practice: An update with implications for implementation research. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 54(4), 1155–1164.

Publisher Note: This article is part of the Forum: Implementation Science in School-Based Settings.


This study was supported by funding from the College of Communication and Information at Florida State University to the first author.