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Children with phonological problems: a survey of clinical practice

Joffe, V. & Pring, T. (2008). Children with phonological problems: a survey of clinical practice. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 43(2), pp. 154-164. doi: 10.1080/13682820701660259


Background: Children with phonological problems are a significant proportion of many therapists' caseloads. However, little is known about current clinical practice with these children or whether research on the effects of therapy have influenced this practice.

Aims: To investigate the methods of assessment and remediation used by therapists working in the UK.

Methods & Procedures: A questionnaire was sent to therapists working with pre- and primary school-aged children.

Outcomes & Results: Ninety-eight clinicians of varying experience responded. Most used the South Tyneside Assessment of Phonology to assess children, were confident in choosing therapy, and were aware of evidence that therapy is beneficial. They used a variety of therapies. Auditory discrimination, minimal contrast therapy, and phonological awareness were popular and often used in combination. Most involved parents. In planning therapy, clinicians were more influenced by children's language and cognitive abilities and the motivation of parents than by the nature of the impairment.

Conclusions: Constraints upon clinicians make it difficult for them to convert research findings to practice. In particular, assessments that allow more individualized and targeted interventions appear little used. Clinicians are aware of research but there is a danger that clinical practice and research are diverging.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted version of the following article: Joffe, V. and Pring, T. (2008), Children with phonological problems: a survey of clinical practice. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 43: 154–164., which has been published in final form at
Publisher Keywords: articulation;phonological delay;phonological disorder;evidence-based practice;assessment;intervention
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Language & Communication Science
Related URLs:
SWORD Depositor:
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