Maximising the Impact of Speech and Language Therapy for children with Speech Sound Disorders (SSD) (The MISLToe_SSD Study)

This work is being undertaken as part of a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) funded study. The Chief Investigator for the study is Dr Yvonne Wren. In this study, Yvonne leads an international, multidisciplinary team of academics, SLTs and PPI members to work together to establish a Core Outcomes Set (COS) and minimum dataset for children with SSD. This prioritisation and design of this study had been, and continues to be, informed by our PPI members, who include children and young people with, or who have a history of, SSD, as well as parents of children with SSD.

This study consists of three work streams:

Firstly, an umbrella review of existing evidence will help us identify a comprehensive list of potential content for the COS and minimum dataset, including outcomes, interventions and assessments for SSD.  

Secondly, SLTs from five NHS sites, and parents of children with SSD, across the UK will join participatory workshops to discuss the processes by which children with SSD are currently assessed and diagnosed in NHS services. These discussions will lead to an agreed process for SSD diagnosis. An online survey and card sorting activity will be undertaken by SLTs in clinical practice to determine a full list of SSD interventions in current practice to be included in the COS and minimum dataset.

Thirdly, the results of the umbrella review, workshops and surveys will be presented for discussion to an expert panel of SLTs, academics and PPI members.   

A follow-on study will work with ten NHS SLT teams to begin collection of the COS and minimum dataset. We will determine what barriers may exist to collection of data and how these may be overcome in order to establish a process for collection of a large dataset which, subject to consent, can be used to address a   wide range of questions relevant to this population. These data will be used to compare outcomes across different care pathways.

You can follow the progress of the study on Twitter @MISLToe_SSD.

For more information about this study, please contact Sam Burr sam.burr@nbt.nhs.uk