Treatment intensity for developmental language disorder: A systematic review

Int J Speech Lang Pathol. 2021 Oct;23(5):465-474. doi: 10.1080/17549507.2020.1856412. Epub 2021 Feb 1.

Abstract

Purpose: Research on treatment intensity in children with developmental language disorder (DLD) has undergone substantial development over the last decade. The aim of the present review was to analyse available publications as related to methodological quality, degree of scientific evidence, and the areas/aspects of language involved.

Method: A systematic review of the scientific literature was conducted using the PRISMA guidelines. A total of 9 articles from 34 published investigations in the field were selected for review according to our inclusion criteria.

Result: The articles addressed the effects of treatment intensity primarily considering expressive morphology and vocabulary. The methodological quality and levels of evidence provided by the studies were high. In general, the effect sizes of dependent variables were considered large.

Conclusion: The number of articles investigating treatment intensity in DLD is scarce. High variability of stimuli was associated with improvements in morphology, whereas vocabulary did not demonstrate the same association. Further research on treatment intensity is needed to address transference and generalisation of the treated abilities.

Keywords: developmental language disorder; grammar; morphology; speech language therapy; treatment intensity; vocabulary.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Language Development Disorders* / therapy
  • Language Tests
  • Language Therapy
  • Vocabulary