Promoting consistent use of the communication function classification system (CFCS)
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PURPOSE: We developed a Knowledge Translation (KT) intervention to standardize the way speech-language pathologists working in Ontario Canada's Preschool Speech and Language Program (PSLP) used the Communication Function Classification System (CFCS). This tool was being used as part of a provincial program evaluation and standardizing its use was critical for establishing reliability and validity within the provincial dataset. METHOD: Two theoretical foundations - Diffusion of Innovations and the Communication Persuasion Matrix - were used to develop and disseminate the intervention to standardize use of the CFCS among a cohort speech-language pathologists. A descriptive pre-test/post-test study was used to evaluate the intervention. Fifty-two participants completed an electronic pre-test survey, reviewed intervention materials online, and then immediately completed an electronic post-test survey. RESULTS: The intervention improved clinicians' understanding of how the CFCS should be used, their intentions to use the tool in the standardized way, and their abilities to make correct classifications using the tool. CONCLUSIONS: Findings from this work will be shared with representatives of the Ontario PSLP. The intervention may be disseminated to all speech-language pathologists working in the program. This study can be used as a model for developing and disseminating KT interventions for clinicians in paediatric rehabilitation. IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION: The Communication Function Classification System (CFCS) is a new tool that allows speech-language pathologists to classify children's skills into five meaningful levels of function. There is uncertainty and inconsistent practice in the field about the methods for using this tool. This study used combined two theoretical frameworks to develop an intervention to standardize use of the CFCS among a cohort of speech-language pathologists. The intervention effectively increased clinicians' understanding of the methods for using the CFCS, ability to make correct classifications, and intention to use the tool in the standardized way in the future.
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