Collaboration between parents and SLTs produces optimal outcomes for children attending speech and language therapy: Gathering the evidence

Authors Inge Klatte , Rena Lyons , Karen Davies , Sam Harding , Julie Marshall , Cristina McKean , Sue Roulstone
Published in International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders
Publication date 2020
Research groups Speech and Language Therapy: Participation through communication
Type Article


Background: Collaboration between parents and speech and language therapists (SLTs) is seen as a key element in family-centred models. Collaboration can have positive impacts on parental and children’s outcomes. However, collaborative practice has not been well described and researched in speech and language therapy for children and may not be easy to achieve. It is important that we gain a deeper understanding of collaborative practice with parents, how it can be achieved and how it can impact on outcomes. This understanding could support practitioners in daily practice with regard to achieving collaborative practice with parents in different contexts. Aims: To set a research agenda on collaborative practice between parents and SLTs in order to generate evidence regarding what works, how, for whom, in what circumstances and to what extent. Methods & Procedures: A realist evaluation approach was used to make explicit what collaborative practice with parents entails. The steps suggested by the RAMESES II project were used to draft a preliminary programme theory about collaborative practice between parents and SLTs. This process generates explicit hypotheses which form a potential research agenda. Discussion & Conclusions: A preliminary programme theory of collaborative practice with parents was drafted using a realist approach. Potential contextual factors (C), mechanisms (M) and outcomes (O) were presented which could be configured into causal mechanisms to help explain what works for whom in what circumstances. CMO configurations were drafted, based on the relevant literature, which serve as exemplars to illustrate how this methodology could be used. In order to debate, test and expand our hypothesized programme theory for collaborative practice with parents, further testing against a broader literature is required alongside research to explore the functionality of the configurations across contexts. This paper highlights the importance of further research on collaborative practice with parents and the potential value of realist evaluation methodology


  • Inge Klatte | Researcher | Research group Speech and Language Therapy: Participation through communication
    Inge Klatte
    • Researcher
    • Research groups: Speech and Language Therapy: Participation through communication

Language English
Published in International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders
Year and volume 55 4
Key words collaborative practice, parents, speech and language therapy
Digital Object Identifier 10.1111/1460-6984.12538
Page range 618-628