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Setting up a cohort study in speech and language therapy: Lessons from The UK Cleft Collective Speech and Language (CC-SL) Study

Wren, Yvonne; Humphries, Kerry; Stock, Nicola Marie; Rumsey, Nichola; Lewis, Sarah; Davies, Amy; Bennett, Rhiannon; Sandy, Jonathan

Authors

Yvonne Wren

Kerry Humphries

Nichola Rumsey

Sarah Lewis

Amy Davies

Rhiannon Bennett

Jonathan Sandy



Abstract

Background: Efforts to increase the evidence base in speech and language therapy are often limited by methodological factors which have restricted the strength of the evidence to the lower levels on the evidence hierarchy. Where higher graded studies, such as randomised controlled trials have been carried out, it has sometimes been difficult to obtain sufficient power to detect a potential effect of intervention owing to small sample sizes or heterogeneity in the participants. With certain clinical groups such as cleft lip and palate, systematic reviews of intervention studies have shown that there is no robust evidence to support the efficacy of any one intervention protocol over another.
Aims: The aim of this paper is to describe the setting up of an observational clinical cohort study and to present this as an alternative design for answering research questions relating to prevalence, risk factors and outcomes from intervention. Methods: The Cleft Collective Speech and Language Study is a national cohort study of children born with cleft palate. Working in partnership with regional clinical cleft centres, a sample size of over 600 children and 600 parents is being recruited and followed up from birth to age 5. Variables being collected include demographic, psychological, surgical, hearing and speech and language data. Main Contribution: The process of setting up the study has led to the creation of a unique, largescale dataset which is available for researchers to access now and in the future. As well as exploring predictive factors, the data can be used to explore the impact of interventions in relation to individual differences. Findings from these investigations can be used to provide information on sample criteria and definitions of intervention and dosage which can be used in future trials.
Conclusions. The observational cohort study is a useful alternative design to explore questions around prevalence, risk factors and intervention for clinical groups where robust research data are not yet available. Findings from such a study can be used to guide service delivery decisions and to determine power for future clinical trials.

Citation

Wren, Y., Humphries, K., Stock, N. M., Rumsey, N., Lewis, S., Davies, A., …Sandy, J. (2018). Setting up a cohort study in speech and language therapy: Lessons from The UK Cleft Collective Speech and Language (CC-SL) Study. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 53(3), 421-430. https://doi.org/10.1111/1460-6984.12364

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 29, 2017
Online Publication Date Dec 18, 2017
Publication Date May 1, 2018
Deposit Date Jan 16, 2018
Journal International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders
Print ISSN 1368-2822
Electronic ISSN 1460-6984
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 53
Issue 3
Pages 421-430
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/1460-6984.12364
Keywords Cleft palate, Cohort, speech disorder, Cleft Collective
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/877140
Publisher URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1460-6984.12364
Additional Information Additional Information : This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Wren, Y., Humphries, K., Stock, N., Rumsey, N., Lewis, S., Davies, A., Bennett, R. and Sandy, J. (2018) Setting up a cohort study in speech and language therapy: Lessons from The UK Cleft Collective Speech and Language Study. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders. ISSN 1368-2822, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1460-6984.12364. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

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