Allocation and funding of speech and language therapy for children with developmental language disorders across Europe and beyond

Hanne Bruun Søndergaard Knudsen*, Niloufar Jalali-Moghadam, Silvia Nieva, Ewa Czaplewska, Marja Laasonen, Ellen Gerrits, Cristina McKean, James Law

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Background: Children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) have a significant deficit in spoken language ability which affects their communication skills, education, mental health, employment and social inclusion. Aim: The present study reports findings from a survey by EU network COST ACTION 1406 and aims to explore differences in service delivery and funding of SLT services for children with DLD across Europe and beyond. Methods and procedures: The survey was completed by 5024 European professionals. COST countries were grouped into Nordic, Anglo-Saxon, Continental, Mediterranean, Central/Eastern and Non-European categories. The use of direct, indirect and mixed interventions, and their relationship to funding available (public, private or mixed) were considered for further analysis. Outcomes and results: The results revealed that for direct therapy, there were more cases than expected receiving private funding. For indirect therapy, fewer than expected received private and more than expected public funding. For mixed therapy, fewer cases than expected received private funding. Conclusions and implications: The results implies that other factors than evidence-based practices, practitioners experience, and patient preferences, drive choices in therapy. More research is needed to gain a better understanding of factors affecting the choice of therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104139
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • Developmental Language Disorder
  • Direct therapy
  • Funding policy
  • Implementation
  • Indirect therapy
  • Mixed therapy
  • Speech and language therapy


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