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Intervention for children with word-finding difficulties: a parallel group randomised control trial

Lookup NU author(s): Professor David Howard



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2017 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Purpose: The study investigated the outcome of a word-web intervention for children diagnosed with word-finding difficulties (WFDs). Method: Twenty children age 6–8 years with WFDs confirmed by a discrepancy between comprehension and production on the Test of Word Finding-2, were randomly assigned to intervention (n = 11) and waiting control (n = 9) groups. The intervention group had six sessions of intervention which used word-webs and targeted children’s meta-cognitive awareness and word-retrieval. Result: On the treated experimental set (n = 25 items) the intervention group gained on average four times as many items as the waiting control group (d = 2.30). There were also gains on personally chosen items for the intervention group. There was little change on untreated items for either group. Conclusion: The study is the first randomised control trial to demonstrate an effect of word-finding therapy with children with language difficulties in mainstream school. The improvement in word-finding for treated items was obtained following a clinically realistic intervention in terms of approach, intensity and duration.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Best W, Hughes LM, Masterson J, Thomas M, Fedor A, Roncoli S, Fern-Pollak L, Shepherd D-L, Howard D, Shobbrook K, Kapikian A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology

Year: 2018

Volume: 20

Issue: 7

Pages: 708-719

Online publication date: 31/07/2017

Acceptance date: 19/06/2017

Date deposited: 14/08/2017

ISSN (print): 1754-9515

ISSN (electronic): 1754-9507

Publisher: Taylor and Francis


DOI: 10.1080/17549507.2017.1348541


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Funder referenceFunder name
Economic and Social Research Council [ Grant no: RES-062-23-2721]