Research in Speech-Language Pathology provides the basis for understanding how and to what degree therapeutic techniques and interventions affect the health and quality of life of individuals with communication disorders. Across numerous fields of healthcare, research serves just as important a function and is used to guide the practices of professionals across the public health sector. Several disciplines, including chiropracty, nursing, and physical therapy, rely on the implementation of Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) to ensure that the process of rehabilitation and the techniques employed therein are carried out though the synthesis of best clinical judgment, empirical evidence, and patient values. The field of Speech-Language Pathology also uses EBP as the foundation of intervention and rehabilitation. Research has shown, however, that clinicians in a variety of settings encounter barriers to the implementation of EBP. Such reported barriers include lack of access to current research literature, lack of time with which to review the literature, and difficulty determining the quality of research available. General aims of the present study were: (1) to explore speech pathologists' self-reported patterns of access and use of techniques presented in the current research literature, (2) to investigate their self-rated knowledge of and ability to critically evaluate the research literature, and (3) to examine their knowledge and ability through use of a problem-based survey design. 325 certified Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) were administered a brief web-based survey to collect information that might provide insight related to these research questions. Results of the study indicated that, on average, participants access the research literature and utilize techniques found therein with moderate frequency. Findings also reveal that self-rated capacity and research knowledge were significantly greater for respondents who had acquired their PhD and for those who had previously conducted formal research. Significant results were also found when evaluating differences among respondent's place of work by median change in self-rated research capacity. Furthermore, positive correlations were found between research knowledge and self-rated capacity and research knowledge and research evaluation. These findings call attention to the process through which research methodology is taught in higher education. The findings may also suggest that a more effective and functional model of instruction in this area is critical to the clinical implementation of EBP.


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Graduation Date





Carnaby, Giselle


Master of Arts (M.A.)


College of Health and Public Affairs


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Degree Program

Communication Sciences and Disorders









Release Date

May 2017

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)