CoRP – A Plethora of Research Opportunities

Hello again, everyone! As September draws to a close, the temperature is starting to get cooler; fall is on its way. Today’s fall-themed breakfast reflected this fact quite well as decorative leaves and fall napkins surrounded the bounty of cinnamon rolls, pumpkin spice cakes and orange juice. With fall around the corner, it’s surprising to me just how fast this semester is going by. We’re already finished with the 4th week of class! Understandably, some of our members were ready to present data or a progress report for their studies. This morning, three CoRP members spent some time discussing their research topics, findings and even implications.


Brittany Clark started our meeting off by discussing the questions and findings of her systematic review. To start, she described the question behind her research: Does articulation therapy or phonological therapy yield better results in a client diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome? Through her research, Brittany found that a hybrid method, combining articulation and phonological therapy approaches, was the most successful. Additionally, parental involvement at home and computer-based learning sessions supported growth and improvement. Brittany did note some limitations in her research – primarily a lack of research about articulation therapy while working with a client diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome.


Members of CoRP enjoying Brittany’s presentation


Next, Natasha Scott gave an overview of her developing thesis. Originally, Natasha wanted to examined three discourse communities of 2nd and 3rd grade elementary school students: the classroom, home and among peers. Due to time constraints, a focus of classroom discourse was chosen. In preliminary research, Natasha has found that SLPs aren’t generalizing therapy to allow their clients to exhibit appropriate discourse. From here, Natasha will interview 2nd and 3rd grade teachers and observe their classrooms to gather more data about classroom discourse.


Finally, Marshall graduate Nicole Campbell presented a “sneak peak” of her sports-related concussions study via Skype. As an athlete, Nicole was interested in examining the roles of an SLP in dealing with concussion patients. After interviewing a practicing SLP, a sports trainer and a physician, Nicole analyzed overlapping data within the transcripts. She separated her findings into four major categories: practice, education, challenges and multidisciplinary approaches. Nicole found that the common practice when treating a concussed patient was to require absolute mental and physical rest. She found that education played an essential role in the future of concussion-related damage prevention. SLPs must educate professionals and students that speech therapy can play a major role in recovery. Some challenges arise in this specific community of patients. Athletes may not want to sit out of a game post-injury. Additionally, access to concussion clinics across the country is extremely limited. A multidisciplinary approach to treatment is absolutely essential for promoting the best possible recovery for the concussed athlete; this approach includes SLPs, coaches, physicians, school nurses and the parents of the affected athlete. From here findings, Nicole concluded that assessment and education will play a large role in the future of our field and its involvement with concussions. Although research is still evolving, Nicole was confident that working together with a multitude of professionals will provide the best possible care for these patients.


Nicole joining our group via Skype. Isn’t technology great?


So that’s all for today! As you can see, we are staying very busy with a wide variety of research topics. The semester will be an exciting one for CoRP between this multitude of research and the many opportunities to present our findings at the ASHA Convention! I hope you check back periodically to learn more about what we’re doing. As always, thanks for reading!