CATALISE : a multinational and multidisciplinary Delphi consensus study. Identifying language impairments in children

Bishop, D. V. M. and Snowling, Margaret J. and Thompson, Paul A. and Greenhalgh, Trisha and Adams, Catherine and Archibald, Lisa and Baird, Gillian and Bauer, Ann and Bellair, Jude and Boyle, Christopher and Brownlie, Elizabeth and Carter, Glenn and Clark, Becky and Clegg, Judy and Cohen, Nancy and Conti-Ramsden, Gina and Dockrell, Julie and Dunn, Janet and Ebbels, Susan and Gallagher, Aoife and Gibbs, Simon and Gore-Langton, Emma and Grist, Mandy and Hartshorne, Mary and Hüneke, Alison and Joanisse, Marc and Kedge, Sally and Klee, Thomas and Krishnan, Saloni and Lascelles, Linda and Law, James and Leonard, Laurence and Lynham, Stephanie and Arnold, Elina Mainela and Mathura, Narad and McCartney, Elspeth and McKean, Cristina and McNeill, Brigid and Morgan, Angela and Murphy, Carol Anne and Norbury, Courtenay and O'Hare, Anne and Cardy, Janis Oram and O'Toole, Ciara and Paul, Rhea and Purdy, Suzanne and Redmond, Sean and Reilly, Sheena and Restrepo, Laida and Rice, Mabel and Slonims, Vicky and Snow, Pamela and Soppitt, Richard and Speake, Jane and Spencer, Sarah and Stringer, Helen and Tager-Flusberg, Helen and Tannock, Rosemary and Taylor, Cate and Tomblin, Bruce and Volden, Joanne and Westerveld, Marleen and Whitehouse, Andrew (2016) CATALISE : a multinational and multidisciplinary Delphi consensus study. Identifying language impairments in children. PLOS One, 11 (7). e0158753. ISSN 1932-6203

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    Abstract

    Delayed or impaired language development is a common developmental concern, yet there is little agreement about the criteria used to identify and classify language impairments in children. Children's language difficulties are at the interface between education, medicine and the allied professions, who may all adopt different approaches to conceptualising them. Our goal in this study was to use an online Delphi technique to see whether it was possible to achieve consensus among professionals on appropriate criteria for identifying children who might benefit from specialist services. We recruited a panel of 59 experts representing ten disciplines (including education, psychology, speech-language therapy/pathology, paediatrics and child psychiatry) from English-speaking countries (Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom and USA). The starting point for round 1 was a set of 46 statements based on articles and commentaries in a special issue of a journal focusing on this topic. Panel members rated each statement for both relevance and validity on a sevenpoint scale, and added free text comments. These responses were synthesised by the first two authors, who then removed, combined or modified items with a view to improving consensus. The resulting set of statements was returned to the panel for a second evaluation (round 2). Consensus (percentage reporting 'agree' or 'strongly agree') was at least 80 percent for 24 of 27 round 2 statements, though many respondents qualified their response with written comments. These were again synthesised by the first two authors. The resulting consensus statement is reported here, with additional summary of relevant evidence, and a concluding commentary on residual disagreements and gaps in the evidence base.