Caregiver-Implemented Communication Interventions for Children Identified as Having Language Impairment 0 Through 48 Months of Age: A Scoping Review

Lizbeth H Finestack, Marianne Elmquist, Kirstin E Kuchler, Andrea L Ford, Betul Cakir Dilek, Amy L Riegelman, Sarah Jane Brown, Scott E Marsalis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: Caregiver-implemented interventions are frequently used to support the early communication of young children with language impairment. Although there are numerous studies and meta-analyses supporting their use, there is a need to better understand the intervention approaches and identify potential gaps in the research base. With that premise, we conducted a scoping review to synthesize existing data with an end goal of informing future research directions.

Method: We identified relevant studies by comprehensively searching four databases. After deduplication, we screened 5,703 studies. We required included studies (N = 59) to evaluate caregiver-implemented communication interventions and include at least one caregiver communication outcome measure. We extracted information related to the (a) study, child, and caregiver characteristics; (b) intervention components (e.g., strategies taught, delivery method and format, and dosage); and (c) caregiver and child outcome measures (e.g., type, quality, and level of evidence).

Results: We synthesized results by age group of the child participants. There were no studies with children in the prenatal through 11-month-old age range identified in our review that yielded a caregiver language outcome measure with promising or compelling evidence. For the 12- through 23-month group, there were seven studies, which included eight communication intervention groups; for the 24- through 35-month group, there were 21 studies, which included 26 intervention groups; and for the 36- through 48-month group, there were 21 studies, which included 23 intervention groups. Across studies and age groups, there was considerable variability in the reporting of study characteristics, intervention approaches, and outcome measures.

Conclusion: Our scoping review highlights important research gaps and inconsistencies in study reporting that should be addressed in future investigations.

Supplemental Material:
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3004-3055
Number of pages52
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number8
Early online dateJul 19 2022
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a research sprint conducted by the University of Minnesota Libraries. Additionally, this publication was supported in part by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development under Award Numbers T32HD007489 and U54 HD090256 and the University of Wisconsin– Madison. Special thanks to University of Minnesota Librarians: Katherine Chew and Richmond Kinney as well as lead undergraduate research assistants: Lola DeFever and Sakina Salemohamed. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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