Developmental Language Disorder Research Priority Setting Partnership Report

For which topic were research priorities identified?

developmental language disorder

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Europe - United Kingdom

Why was it conducted at all?

One way we hope to achieve this is by supporting quality practice among SLTs and other professionals. Such practice should be evidence-based, with practitioners using their clinical expertise to draw upon the best available research evidence, and upon service-user preferences, to provide a responsive, expert, needs-led service. A growing body of evidence is helping SLTs, service-users and other professionals to understand speech, language, communication and swallowing needs, and to plan and develop approaches to treat them and minimise their impact. However, there are many gaps in our knowledge when it comes to these needs. In such cases, how do we know which of these gaps to research first?

What was the objective?

to ask people with DLD (developmental language disorder), their parents and carers, SLTs (speech and language therapists), other professionals, charitable organisations and research funders which areas of DLD research needs to address most urgently

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 10 research areas

How long did the research prioritization take?

No information provided.

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?

focus group; survey; workshop

How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: collecting research uncertainties: RCSLT members (= therapists) were asked to list their uncertainties about any aspect of speech and language therapy: "In your opinion, what areas of DLD does research need to address most urgently?". Step 2: data analysis: literature search was then undertaken to identify whether existing DLD research might clarify any of the uncertainties, unanswered uncertainties were reviewed and summarised and developed into loose research topics, topics were themed along 11 categories. Step 3: 7 mini focus groups: with children and young people with DLD, participants were asked: "In your opinion, which are the most important categories that we should find out more about?" Step 4: 8 small workshops: with parents of children with DLD, who also prioritised the categories in terms of what they would like to see more research on, and provided any further uncertainties. Step 5: data analysis: children and young people with DLD and their parents felt all 11 categories were important to explore, hence all uncertainties were taken forward to the next stage of the prioritisation process. Step 6: 2 multi-stakeholder workshops: participants looked back at the individual topics across each category, and turned them into more specific research areas by thinking about whether they related to specific populations, interventions or outcomes, output was a list of 60 research areas. Step 7: online card-sorting activity: participants were asked to sort topics into those that they thought were a priority and those that weren’t, additionally easy-read version developed for individuals with DLD using the 11 categories rather than the 60 areas. Step 8: data triangulation: results from both sorting activities and the earlier work with children with DLD and their parents were combined by ascribing a point to a research area every time it was either identified as a priority or the theme to which it belonged was identified as a priority, resulting in overall ranking for each research area

Which stakeholders took part?

People with DLD, their parents and carers, SLTs, other professionals, charitable organisations and research funders. Multi-stakeholder workshop: 80 participants: SLTS, parents, teachers, teaching assistants, psychologists, third-sector representatives and other health and education professionals. Card-sorting activities: 561 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

No information provided.

Were stakeholders actively involved or did they just participate?

Stakeholders were mere participants of the research prioritization process; they were not actively involved in the process.