Incorporating Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) is a crucial part of our role as Speech and Language Therapists/Pathologists (SLTs/SLPs). However, it can feel overwhelming to know where to start, right? Well, I’ve gathered together 8 of the best sites you can use to help you understand the evidence behind the interventions you’re using in therapy.
What is EBP?
First, we should just quickly recap what EBP actually is. We know that EBP is more than just what the research says; it takes into account our own clinical expertise and the client’s views and values too. Each case/child/patient you see is individual, so depending on the case, you may need to focus more on one of these three areas at any given time.
We also know that in order to maintain our registrations and to deliver safe, effective care, we must be up-to-date with best practices and current research. But that’s the hard part. The research articles aren’t necessarily written for the “everyday therapist” like you and me, and they’re not easy to access, either.
But, there are some fantastic websites that you can access which have clear, easy-to-understand overviews of research articles and therapy interventions; I’m going to share 8 of my favourite websites for SLPs to get EBP information in this post.
8 of the Best Sites for SLPs to get EBP Info:
- ASHA Evidence Maps
I particularly love these evidence maps because they are free and accessible to all therapists; you don’t have to be an ASHA member to access and use them (which is perfect for those of us across the pond!).
They are great because you can choose the area of interest, and it has relevant research articles for you to read. Each one comes with an easy-to-understand conclusion, an article summary from ASHA and a link to the research article itself. So they’re a great place to start if you’re wanting to find evidence or information about a particular topic.
- The Informed SLP
This site is honestly incredible. They are a team of clinicians and scientists who read hundreds of research articles each month, and then write clear, concise reviews about them. They write reviews for Birth-3, School-age and Adults; so there’s something for everyone! It is a paid-for membership, but it’s completely worth it. (NB- I’m not being compensated in any way for recommending this site; I just know how beneficial and awesome it is!).
- What Works from The Communication Trust
‘What Works’ is a free online library of evidence-based interventions that aim to support children’s speech, language and communication skills. The site provides easily accessible overviews of the evidence base for each intervention. You can search for interventions based on age range, target group, who it can be delivered by, and how it is delivered. The evidence for interventions are rated as ‘strong’, ‘moderate’ or ‘indicative’ (as determined by an academic moderating group), and a summary of the evidence base and academic references is provided.
speechBITE is a free database of research/intervention studies which cover the scope of Speech and Language Therapy (paediatrics to adults etc.). The site provides quality ratings for each study, so that therapists can more easily identify intervention studies that have better internal validity and sufficient statistical reporting, so the study results can be interpreted clearly. You can sign up to receive their monthly newsletter, to stay up-to-date with the new research added to the site.
- EI Northwestern- Early Intervention Research Group
This site is particularly useful for early intervention therapists. As well as useful handouts and resource lists for parents and therapists, they have a weekly “research round-up” blog which summarises studies on a range of EI topics. The summaries are clear and concise, and include links to the original article so you can read more- plus, all the information is completely free!
- Clinical Research for SLPs Facebook Group
This private, free Facebook group is “A place for speech–language pathologists and clinical scientists to discuss research and its application to practice”. They have weekly EBP topics hosted by a specialist, which provide an opportunity for therapists to learn and share their knowledge, with ideas for how to apply the evidence to practice.
- What Works Clearinghouse
WWC reviews the research on different programs, products, practices, and policies in education, in order to provide educators with the information they need to make evidence-based decisions. Although the WWC focuses on education, some interventions/programs etc. included are also applicable to Speech Therapy; particularly for school-based SLTs/SLPs.
- Best Evidence in Brief from the Institute of Effective Education
This is another education-focused site, but it also covers research and approaches for speech, language and communication skills. There is a fortnightly e-newsletter which summarises the recent research/news related to education. This is well-worth subscribing to for SLTs/SLPs working with the school-age population (even if you’re not solely school-based).
Top Tip for SLPs to get more EBP info:
If you are hitting a paywall when you’re trying to access a research article, download the Unpaywall browser extension. This free browser extension searches the internet for a free & legal copy of the same paper, so you don’t have to pay. You can also try contacting the research authors to see if they can provide a copy for you, (many are happy to do this because they love getting their research into the hands of people who need it!).
Want to read more? Here are some other links about EBP for SLPs:
- The Informed SLP previously wrote a post about how you can make sure you’re using EBP, read that here.
- Kiwi Speech recently blogged about why asking “is it Evidence-Based?” is a complicated question, read this post here.
- ASHA has a lot of useful information all about EBP, you can check that out here.
- The RCSLT also has a lot of useful information about EBP and understanding the evidence; it’s currently only accessible to members though. If you’re an RCSLT member, you can access the information here.
There you have it; a list of my favourite sites for all things EBP for SLPs. Let me know if you use any other sites that I’ve not included here.