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SPE8304 : Principles of Evidence-Based Practice in Communication Disorders

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Helen Stringer
  • Owning School: Education, Communication & Language Sci
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To introduce and build on students’ previous knowledge of the principles and methods of evidence-based clinical practice in order that they can apply those methods to assessing and treating communication disorders in children and adults.

Evidence-based practice is the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual clients. Having its origins in the fields of medicine and clinical epidemiology, EBP is now a growing part of speech and language sciences. Since 2003, speech and language therapists practicing in the UK have been required by the Health Professions Council to ‘be able to conduct evidence-based practice’. This module will build on students knowledge of how to judge the clinical value of assessment procedures and intervention practices in speech and language sciences.

Outline Of Syllabus

1.       What is evidence-based practice? Formulating answerable clinical questions. Searching for the best evidence.
2.       Hierarchy of evidence. Critically reviewing evidence.
3.       Critically evaluating evidence in assessment (screening and diagnosis).
4.       Critically evaluating evidence in intervention
5.       Applying EBP in clinical practice.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture42:008:00Content related to conduct of evidence based practice.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion132:0032:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading154:0054:00N/A
Guided Independent StudySkills practice140:0040:00Practice searching, critical appraisal skills and other skills associated with EBP.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching22:004:00Small group discussion of literature. EBP questions relating to clinical specialisms.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study162:0062:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will convey the principles, underlying theory and methods of evidence-based practice which originated in the medical sciences and are now coming to be adapted to behavioural disciplines such as speech and language therapy. Seminars will give students the opportunity to discuss these principles in relation to current research and practice and apply these methods for the purpose of informing their own clinical practice. Seminars will also enable students to plan and develop their assignment for this module.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M1003000 word Critical appraisal of literature in relation to a focused clinical assessment. there will be formative assess and feedback
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Students will submit a critical appraisal (written communication) of a selected aspect of clinical practice (e.g., intervention for adults with word-finding problems; screening for speech and language disorder in children. Factors that enable or hinder uptake of new evidence in to practice), as evaluated from the perspective of evidence-based practice (information literacy, problem solving, numeracy, computer literacy).. To this end, students will apply the tools of EBP to arrive at a conclusion about the value of the intervention or assessment practice and its place in their own clinical practice

Critical appraisal of literature in relation to a focused clinical assessment. There will be formative assessment and feedback of use of MS Word accessibility and styles features.

Reading Lists