Current Methods of Evaluating Speech-Language Outcomes for Preschoolers With Communication Disorders: A Scoping Review Using the ICF-CY Journal Articles uri icon

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  • PurposeThe purpose of this scoping review was to identify current measures used to evaluate speech-language outcomes for preschoolers with communication disorders within the framework of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health–Children and Youth Version (ICF-CY; World Health Organization, 2007).MethodThe review involved 5 phases outlined by Arksey and O'Malley (2005) and further developed by Levac, Colquhoun, and O'Brien (2010): (a) articulating the research question; (b) identifying relevant studies; (c) selecting studies; (d) charting the data; and (e) collating, summarizing, and reporting the results. The ICF-CY was used to frame the measures included.ResultsA total of 214 relevant peer-reviewed publications were included in the review. Most publications used measures to evaluate changes in outcomes for Activities (65%), followed by measures evaluating changes in Body Functions (20%), and finally measures evaluating changes at the level of Participation (15%). There has been a slight increase in the evaluation of Participation-based outcomes in the past 4 years (2012–2015).ConclusionThe review revealed a dearth of measures in the pediatric speech-language literature that address Participation-based outcomes. The authors strongly advocate for the use of Participation-based outcome measures to detect meaningful change in the lives of children and families.


  • Cunningham, Barbara Jane
  • Washington, Karla N
  • Binns, Amanda
  • Rolfe, Katelyn
  • Robertson, Bernadette
  • Rosenbaum, Peter Leon

publication date

  • February 2017