there is little research for early intervention, guidelines will help parents learn what to look for when reading through
the available research. Parents
will be more equipped to make educated decisions on what is practical and effective and what issues still needs to have more
supporting research. The guidelines will provide a hierarchy of levels of evidence to compare or judge the reliability of
the study. From highest (best) to lowest (worst) levels of evidence,
the guidelines to use when reading research are as follows:
design comparing two or more treatments where the authors, clinicians, and parents do not know at the time of the study who
got what. (highest level of evidence)
design comparing two or more treatments
design, where treatment vs. no treatment provides the least amount of evidence, but at least there is a large enough group
Single case studies where
one or a couple of children participate in a therapy without any controls; there may be pre and post testing, but the treatment
has limited application. There's no large scale evidence that it works.
This is when there is no research; this is the lowest level, but when there is
nothing else, it is the next best thing (Harbour
& Miller, 2001).
practice and treatment efficacy research is constantly evolving to support best clinical practice. There definitely needs
to be more research in the area of early intervention which need to be supported by "standards which [are] accepted principles
of patient care based on a high degree of certainty, strong evidence, and guidelines [which] reflect a moderate degree of
certainty (www.asha.org, 2004).