Stacey Reynolds, Heather Miller Kuhaneck, Beth Pfeiffer; Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Frequency Modulation Devices in Improving Academic Outcomes in Children With Auditory Processing Difficulties. Am J Occup Ther 2015;70(1):7001220030. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2016.016832
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© 2021 American Occupational Therapy Association
This systematic review describes the published evidence related to the effectiveness of frequency modulation (FM) devices in improving academic outcomes in children with auditory processing difficulties. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses standards were used to identify articles published between January 2003 and March 2014. The Cochrane Population, Intervention, Control, Outcome, Study Design approach and the American Occupational Therapy Association process forms were used to guide the article selection and evaluation process. Of the 83 articles screened, 7 matched the systematic review inclusion criteria. Findings were consistently positive, although limitations were identified. Results of this review indicate moderate support for the use of FM devices to improve children’s ability to listen and attend in the classroom and mixed evidence to improve specific academic performance areas. FM technology should be considered for school-age children with auditory processing impairments who are receiving occupational therapy services to improve functioning in the school setting.
FM technology is an evidence-based strategy to help children function in their school setting. FM technology may be useful in enhancing speech perception and recognition in school-based settings and may help improve classroom behaviors. Initial support is also provided for improvements in specific academic performance areas.
Because FM devices in the reviewed studies were set up and monitored by research staff from a variety of academic departments, it is not clear which clinical professionals would take the lead on FM system implementation in school settings. Likely the lead professionals will vary depending on the school and school system in question. Occupational therapy practitioners’ role may vary accordingly, with responsibilities ranging from simply suggesting device use at team meetings to taking the lead on purchasing FM systems for children within the school system and setting up plans for teacher and educator trainings and programs for device monitoring and technical support.
Whatever their role, occupational therapy practitioners work as part of a larger team of school-based professionals. Interdisciplinary collaboration is encouraged among occupational therapy practitioners, audiologists, speech–language pathologists, teachers, and other team members in implementing modifications such as FM technology to improve the learning environment.
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