A systematic literature review (2009-2017) investigating the efficacy of language comprehension intervention in children with a specific language impairment
(2017) A systematic literature review (2009-2017) investigating the efficacy of language comprehension intervention in children with a specific language impairment, no. 70.
Background: Research shows language impairment with a receptive language component is more resistant to intervention than specific expressive difficulties or phonological delays. It is associated with a higher risk for comorbid behavioral difficulties, poor language development and academic progress outcomes. There have been no systematic literature reviews on the effectiveness of intervention targeting the receptive difficulties of children with SLI since 2010. Now a number of new studies focusing on this area have been completed. Aim: This literature review aimed to discuss the efficacy of the most current language comprehension intervention. The resulting clinical implications and the future research that should be undertaken will be discussed. Method: Ten interventions were included within the review with a total of 660 participants. Studies were all of high to moderately high methodological quality. Results: For the majority of the 660 participants (68%) intervention resulted in no significant or immediate effects on their comprehension. All studies used different outcome measures and with two measuring longitudinal outcomes. The majority of participants had intervention with collaborative SLT involvement. Conclusion: This literature review provides a strong evidence-base that SLTs have a significant role to play within the area of language comprehension intervention. SLT involvement was key to effective intervention. Indirect involvement in particular should be considered given resource limitations. The success of language comprehension for older children shows the importance of targeting this area in intervention. Future research should focus on language comprehension intervention for younger children, studies that include standardized outcome measures and longitudinal efficacy.