While many of my colleagues and I have argued that there is a wide range of what constitutes evidence, the other side in this debate seems to believe that only randomized control trials yield quality evidence (http://blog.asha.org/2015/03/17/call-for-advocacy-in-getting-government-support-for-evidence-based-treatments/). This makes me worry for our profession because I believe a lot of people feel this way. In the link to the latest ASHA blog post on this topic, the developer of http://speechbite.com is asked to weigh in on the topic of evidence. In the post, the author suggests that the proposal from Australia has merit because the Lidcombe program has such strong evidence.
But if you look at the website on evidence, a study of the Lidcombe program is rated number 1 in quality of evidence in stuttering treatment. But if you search “autism,” the number one rated treatment study is…..acupuncture! Don’t worry, number 2 is hyperbaric chamber. And in case that were not enough, the drug Risperidone appears to be effective at treating both stuttering AND autism, as it ranks in the top five in each disorder.
So, what does all this tell us? Maybe we need to revisit just what “evidence” means. Everyone agrees that evidence is important, but the way the evidence is framed is sometimes alarming.