A systematic meta-analytic review of evidence for the effectiveness of the ‘Fast ForWord’ language intervention program
Fast ForWord is a suite of computer-based language intervention programs designed to improve children’s reading and oral language skills. The programs are based on the hypothesis that oral language difficulties often arise from a rapid auditory temporal processing deficit that compromises the development of phonological representations. Methods:
A systematic review was designed, undertaken and reported using items from the PRISMA statement. A literature search was conducted using the terms ‘Fast ForWord’‘Fast For Word’‘Fastforword’ with no restriction on dates of publication. Following screening of (a) titles and abstracts and (b) full papers, using pre-established inclusion and exclusion criteria, six papers were identified as meeting the criteria for inclusion (randomised controlled trial (RCT) or matched group comparison studies with baseline equivalence published in refereed journals). Data extraction and analyses were carried out on reading and language outcome measures comparing the Fast ForWord intervention groups to both active and untreated control groups. Results:
Meta-analyses indicated that there was no significant effect of Fast ForWord on any outcome measure in comparison to active or untreated control groups. Conclusions:
There is no evidence from the analysis carried out that Fast ForWord is effective as a treatment for children’s oral language or reading difficulties.