ASHA, SLP, & EBP in 2020: Guest Post featuring Rebecca Bowen, M.A. CCC-SLP, ASHA Clinical Research Associate

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Have you ever wished there were breadcrumbs along the way to know if you’re on the right path? Or ever have an idea or question for what might or might not be appropriate for your patient, but just not that confident when turning your eyes to the research evidence??

Well, after months and months of work updating and fine-tuning its resources, ASHA has finally brought you something that’s much easier to find, navigate, and manage in order to help you help your patients!

This guest post was written by Rebecca Bowen, a speech-language pathologist clinician and Clinical Research Associate at ASHA’s National Center for Evidence-Based Practice in Communication Disorders, where her main role is to curate the Evidence Maps, create resources, and help practicing clinicians implement EBP. Here she gives you an exclusive, inside look at what ASHA’s National Center for Evidence-Based Practice is now offering for us busy SLPs.



2020 so far has been unlike any year we’ve experienced before. Regulations, policies, and expectations change week to week, and sometimes even day to day. As scientists learn more about the novel coronavirus, the way we interact with patients and protect ourselves must rapidly change as well. Before the pandemic, it was challenging to keep up on all the research in our field. The current situation has exacerbated that crunch, and an added layer of anxiety that having outdated information can have serious consequences for both patient and clinician.

ASHA’s National Center for Evidence-Based Practice has developed a suite of resources and tools to help you make clinical choices that are solidly evidence-based and in the best interest of your clients. Our EBP toolkit is a one-stop-shop for resources to help guide you through the EBP process.

The three worksheets in the toolkit (Create a PICO Question, Create a Search String, and

 and Track Your Results) help you refine your question of, “Is this option good for my patient?” into something that will give you the most relevant articles in a literature search and accurately track what you find. For example, using these tools, the question above becomes: “For adults with TBI, what is the effect of cognitive rehabilitation on cognitive communication?” or even “For adults with COVID-19, what is the effect of services delivered via videoconferencing on functional cognitive outcomes?” From there, you’re able to streamline your search, and then organize your results to know just where to look instead of scouring for hours with random, vague search terms.

Not all evidence is created equal, so our collection of reference sheets (Which Research Design Should You Find?, Study Design Features, and Identify Biases) also help to ensure that you’re searching for the right types of articles, and that your search results are of high quality.

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(Also be sure to Subscribe to SLP R&R for your own freebie Research Study Design cheat sheet!😉😉)

Finally, the DECIDE Framework is a newly developed tool to help ensure that you’ve considered all the necessary components of EBP (remember, there’s 3!) when making your clinical decisions. It pulls together all the work you’ve done throughout the process to help you synthesize your thinking into a clinical decision that you can be confident in.

Using this framework, you’ll Define what it is you’re wanting to find out, then gather and review all the evidence (both internal and external) you have so far. Next, you’ll Extrapolate the key information findings that relate most to your clinical question, or if you should narrow or widen your search. You’ll absolutely Consider your own clinical expertise, cultural competence with this population, and scope of practice. After you Incorporate your client’s perspectives, background, and goals, your EBP triangle is complete. Finally, Develop your treatment plan and don’t forget to continuously Evaluate by continuously asking, “Is my plan working for my client?

Another great part of this framework, is that it gives you additional related resources for each step!!😃🤩

In addition, please check out our:

  • Evidence Maps– a searchable online tool designed to help you find the best evidence fast
  • EBP catalog– the latest blog posts, articles, and documents related to EBP
  • Tutorials– interactive and video resources to help expand your understanding of EBP
  • Glossary-a review of terminology related to EBP

As you navigate the new normal, ASHA’s new EBP toolkit and expanded resources are here to help you keep up. You want to provide your clients with the best services you can, and you deserve the pride and confidence that come from solid, evidence-based decision making!


A BIG thanks to Rebecca and ASHA, because just like us clinicians, we’re all working hard to try to do what’s best for our patients in these crazy and unpredictable times.❤️

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