Clinical Forum: The Role of the Speech-Language Pathologist in Identifying and Treating Children With Auditory Processing Disorder  |   July 2011
Auditory Processing Disorder and Auditory/Language Interventions: An Evidence-Based Systematic Review
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Marc E. Fey
    University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City
  • Gail J. Richard
    Eastern Illinois University, Charleston
  • Donna Geffner
    St. Johns University, Queens, NY
  • Alan G. Kamhi
    University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • Larry Medwetsky
    Rochester Hearing and Speech Center, Rochester, NY
  • Diane Paul
    American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Rockville, MD
  • Deborah Ross-Swain
    The Swain Center, Santa Rosa, CA
  • Geraldine P. Wallach
    California State University Long Beach
  • Tobi Frymark
    American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Rockville, MD
  • Tracy Schooling
    American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Rockville, MD
  • Correspondence to Marc Fey: mfey@kumc.edu
  • Editor: Marilyn Nippold
    Editor: Marilyn Nippold×
  • Associate Editor: Ilsa Schwarz
    Associate Editor: Ilsa Schwarz×
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Language Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions
Clinical Forum: The Role of the Speech-Language Pathologist in Identifying and Treating Children With Auditory Processing Disorder   |   July 2011
Auditory Processing Disorder and Auditory/Language Interventions: An Evidence-Based Systematic Review
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2011, Vol. 42, 246-264. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2010/10-0013)
History: Received March 3, 2010 , Accepted July 21, 2010
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, July 2011, Vol. 42, 246-264. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2010/10-0013)
History: Received March 3, 2010; Accepted July 21, 2010
Web of Science® Times Cited: 18

Purpose: In this systematic review, the peer-reviewed literature on the efficacy of interventions for school-age children with auditory processing disorder (APD) is critically evaluated.

Method: Searches of 28 electronic databases yielded 25 studies for analysis. These studies were categorized by research phase (e.g., exploratory, efficacy) and ranked on a standard set of quality features related to methodology and reporting.

Results: Some support exists for the claim that auditory and language interventions can improve auditory functioning in children with APD and those with primary spoken language disorder. There is little indication, however, that observed improvements are due to the auditory features of these programs. Similarly, evidence supporting the effects of these programs on spoken and written language functioning is limited.

Conclusion: The evidence base is too small and weak to provide clear guidance to speech-language pathologists faced with treating children with diagnosed APD, but some cautious skepticism is warranted until the record of evidence is more complete. Clinicians who decide to use auditory interventions should be aware of the limitations in the evidence and take special care to monitor the spoken and written language status of their young clients.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This review was developed by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Committee on the Role of the Speech-Language Pathologist in Identifying and Treating Children With Auditory Processing Disorders, which included all authors. Additional members of the committee (2007–2009) were Sally Shaywitz (consultant) and Lynn E. Snyder (2007). Brian B. Shulman served as the monitoring officer in 2007–2008; Julie Noel served as the monitoring officer in 2009. ASHA’s National Center for Evidence-Based Practice in Communication Disorders (N-CEP) collaborated with the committee, assisted with the systematic review and appraisal of the literature, and contributed positively to this report. N-CEP staff members who participated in this work were Hillary Leech, Rebecca Venediktov, and Rob Mullen.
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