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Communication Disorders

Getting started on your own research

The purpose of this guide is to introduce you to the resources and strategies that will help you do research in Communication Disorders. It includes links to recommended library and web resources, as well as detailed information on how to use these resources to locate current, relevant scholarship.

When you're first getting oriented to a topic, I recommend checking out The Practice Portal hosted by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). This resource features curated and peer-reviewed resources and succinct overviews of major clinical topics. While thorough research for evidence-based practice will require a deeper dive into the available scholarship, the Practice Portal offers a great introduction to major topics in the field of Communication Disorders.

Evidence-Based Practice

Effective research skills are critical to the development of evidence-based practice (EBP), the method clinicians use to make informed, ethical decisions. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), "Evidence-based practice (EBP) is the integration of

  • Clinical expertise/expert opinion: The knowledge, judgment, and critical reasoning acquired through your training and professional experiences
  • Evidence (external and internal): The best available information gathered from the scientific literature (external evidence) and from data and observations collected on your individual client (internal evidence)
  • Client/patient/caregiver perspectives: The unique set of personal and cultural circumstances, values, priorities, and expectations identified by your client and their caregivers."

Resources for Evidence-Based Practice

Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) resources from ASHA
A curated collection of tools, maps, tutorials, and a glossary of relevant terms

The Handbook for Evidence-Based Practice in Communication Disorders
Written for speech-language pathologists, this book demonstrates how to apply current best evidence in making critical decisions about the care of individual patients, be it screening, diagnosis or treatment of communication disorders.