Barriers to implementing evidence-based assessment procedures: Perspectives from the front lines in pediatric speech-language pathology
Journal of Communication Disorders
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© 2019 Elsevier Inc. Purpose: This practice-based research study was a collaborative effort between researchers and speech-language pathologists (SLPs). The purpose of the study was to assess SLPs’ perceptions of barriers for two new evidence-based assessment procedures to be implemented in practice. Procedures were for (1) program-level outcome monitoring and (2) individual vulnerability testing for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. These procedures were summarized for clinicians in an online learning module. Method: After finishing the online learning module, SLPs completed electronic surveys to identify perceived barriers to implementation. Fifty-four SLPs completed an online survey specific to the program-level outcome monitoring procedures. Twenty-five also completed an online survey specific to individual vulnerability testing. Surveys were structured using the Ottawa Model of Research Use, which assesses barriers within three components: (1) the practice environment; (2) clinicians’ knowledge, skills, and beliefs; and (3) the evidence-based innovation (development and content of the online learning module). Results: Most items specific to program-level outcome monitoring were rated positively. Some barriers were identified within the practice environment and evidence-based innovation, but clinicians’ skills, knowledge, and beliefs were not barriers to implementation. For individual vulnerability testing, barriers were noted across all components of the Ottawa Model of Research Use. Conclusions: This work demonstrates the value of including front-line clinicians in the development of evidence-based assessment procedures. Through practice-based research, we identified SLPs’ perceived barriers to implementation, allowing for modifications to be made to the online learning module prior to wider-scale implementation. The barriers identified and methods used in our work may be useful to other researchers and programs involved in developing materials and methods for the implementation of evidence-based assessment procedures.