Maximizing treatment efficiency in developmental language disorder: Positive effects in half the time

Elena Plante, Heidi M. Mettler, Alexander Tucci, Rebecca Vance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Purpose: When a behavioral treatment is generally efficacious, the central research questions shift to optimized dose delivery. In this study, we determine whether a validated treatment method can be made more effective or efficient by increasing the dose density employed. Method: Twenty children were treated with Enhanced Conversational Recast methods to treat morphological errors. Half received 24 doses per session within a half hour (approximately 1 dose/1.25 min), and the other received the same number of doses within 15 min (approximately 1 dose/38 s). Generalization of morpheme use was probed throughout treatment and at a 6-week follow-up. Spontaneous use of treated morphemes was also tracked. Results: Although the treatment was effective overall, there were no significant differences between treatment conditions on any of the outcome measures. Follow-up performance correlated significantly with performance at the end of the treatment period. Conclusion: Minimal between-groups differences suggest that performance does not suffer when dose rates are compressed into half the time during treatment, making the high-density dose delivery method a more efficient delivery method. This could make time available within a treatment session to address other goals or allow for more classroom instructional time for the child.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1233-1247
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican journal of speech-language pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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