PLAT Study Report
Our two-centre randomized controlled trial is now well underway in which we are testing the effectiveness of PLAT in 48 parent-child diads supported by Connected Health and a specialist SLT, compared with typical care in the community. A big thank-you to CLEFT-Bridging the Gap for funding the London arm of our study. The London Research Team consists of Dr Debbie Sell and Katie Powell, and the Dublin Research Team Dr Triona Sweeney and Leane Deasey.
In our study, participants are randomly assigned to the Parent led arm or the standard arm of the trial. In the Parent led arm, a 2 day parent training course is undertaken by two cleft specialist SLTs, followed by an individual session with parent(s) and their child, in which an individualised therapy programme with materials is designed. Parents work with their child for a minimum of 10 minutes per day, 5 times per week for 12 weeks. Each family is provided with an iPad with Apps and traditional speech activities. The specialist SLT uses FaceTime at weeks 3 and 9 to monitor the child’s speech, parent’s report of progress, feeding back on the speech tasks and problem solving, with a face to face session at week 6. In the standard arm of the trial, children are seen fortnightly at the hospital by a non cleft specialist therapist for 12 weeks, reflecting typical care in the community.
We are now coming towards the end of Phase 1, when we are seeing all the children for their post intervention assessments and recordings. We are also having the parents tell independent interviewers about their experiences of the programme. We are also now busy preparing for Phase 2, seeing lots of potential participants over the summer. Phase 2 will run from October- January. We are looking forward to reporting the results in 2017! Watch this space!