Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Susan Loveall-Hague

Relational Format



Problem Statement: Prior research on evidence-based practice (EBP) in speech-language pathology is both limited and inconsistent regarding the frequency in which SLPs engage in EBP, their understanding of EBP, and the emphasis that their employers place on EBP. Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to assess SLPs' understanding and use of EBP. In addition, this study investigated the potential barriers SLPs face when attempting to engage in EBP including employer emphasis and opinions toward EBP. Methods: SLPs (n=176) from across the United States participated in an online survey designed to assess their understanding and use of EBP. Participants were recruited via each state's speech-language-hearing association's listserv database. Results: Only a small percentage of SLPs were able to accurately identify the complete, three-part definition of EBP or identify strong levels of evidence. Similarly, only a small percentage were able to rank meta-analysis as the strongest level of evidence but the majority of participants were able to rank meta-analysis among the strongest levels of evidence. SLPs self-reported a high level of knowledge for accessing a wide range of resources, but reported the least amount of knowledge for accessing college, university, public, and medical libraries, including online databases of these libraries. ASHA resources were reported as the most frequently accessed source. When asked about the importance of EBP, a majority of respondents reported that EBP is beneficial and important, but difficult to engage in. Although the majority of SLPs reported a lack of employer-led training in EBP, the majority of SLPs reported that they feel their employer values EBP in the workplace. Discussion: The results of the present study will encourage SLPs to improve their treatment processes to align with the guidelines of EBP. The use of EBP will allow SLPs to improve their clinical practices and provide higher quality treatment to their clients.

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