In order to support an evidence-informed rapid response to this public health imperative, Talk With Me Baby is including a Developmental Evaluation approach within its evaluation design. This approach is particularly suited to innovation and rapid scale-up to address complex issues and crises such as the one represented by disparities in language acquisition and early brain development.
TWMB developed a comprehensive logic model and applied research plan, including multi-center randomized clinical trials and usage of the innovative Language ENvironment Analysis (LENA) technology to analyze verbal interactions and measure the behavior change of the parents.
The TWMB evaluation is designed to:
- Determine the extent to which nurse-led language nutrition training affects a mother’s ability to communicate with her infant effectively, using Performance-Based Assessments for caregivers.
- Determine the extent to which the TWMB in-person seminar training affects the ability of nurses to educate parents about language nutrition, using Performance-Based Assessments for Nurses.
- Characterize and compare maternal-infant linguistic interactions, including word count, conversational turns, and child vocalizations, among the intervention and control groups at birth and during the first 18 months of life, as measured by LENA.
As these evaluations generate data, the collaborative plans to establish a national database or other mechanism for the integration and analysis of these data with other TWMB-like studies, contributing to the literature and the science behind how to successfully address early language acquisition.
TWMB is also committed to using well-formulated frameworks of implementation science to guide the work of effectively scaling up this population-wide model. Within this framework, TWMB is examining usable interventions, identifying implementation stages, drivers and teams and planning for improvement cycles to lead to an organized, well-informed and carefully monitored community-wide effort.