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This paper describes the timing and nature of therapy provided within a recent randomised controlled trial (RCT) of preschool speech and language therapy services. There is literature that describes and evaluates speech and language therapy but there is little indication of how this is translated into everyday practice. The study collected data from 21 speech and language therapists (SLTs) in 16 community clinics. The areas targeted, goals, approaches used, the frequency and timing of contact for the 68 children who received treatment were documented. The data show that several aspects of therapy were frequently targeted simultaneously, that approaches were combined and that the frequency of therapy did not vary with severity. The discussion will consider the gap between published programmes and everyday practice and the implications for effectiveness.

Original publication




Journal article


International journal of language & communication disorders

Publication Date



36 Suppl


435 - 440


Speech and Language Therapy Research Unit, Frenchay Hospital, Bristol.


Humans, Communication Disorders, Data Interpretation, Statistical, Speech-Language Pathology, Child, Preschool, Community Health Services