Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
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Purpose: The purpose of this scoping review was to identify current measures used to evaluate speech-language outcomes for preschoolers with communication disorders within the framework of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health – Children and Youth (ICF-CY) (World Health Organization, 2007). Method: The review included five phases outlined by Arksey and O’Malley (2005) and further developed by Levac et al. 2010: (a) articulating the research question, (b) identifying relevant studies, (c) study selection, (d) charting the data, and (e) collating, summarizing and reporting the results. The WHO ICF-CY was used to frame the measures included. Results: A total of 214 relevant peer-reviewed publications were included in the review. Most publications used measures to evaluate changes in outcomes for Activities (65%), followed by measures evaluating changes in Body Functions (20%), and finally measures evaluating changes at the level of Participation (15%). There has been a slight increase in the evaluation of Participation-level outcomes in the past four years (2012-2015).
Conclusion: The review revealed a dearth of measures in the pediatric speech-language literature that address Participation-level outcomes. The authors strongly advocate for use of Participation-level outcome measures to detect meaningful change in the lives of children and families.