A Controlled Clinical Trial for Stuttering in Persons Aged 9 to 14 Years This paper presents the results of a controlled trial of child stuttering treatment. The aim of the study was, first, to compare the effectiveness of three viable treatments, and, second, to compare these three treatments to a no-treatment control composed of children who stuttered of a similar age and sex ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 1996
A Controlled Clinical Trial for Stuttering in Persons Aged 9 to 14 Years
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ashley Craig
    Department of Health Sciences University of Technology Sydney, Australia
  • Karen Hancock
    Department of Health Sciences University of Technology Sydney, Australia
  • Esther Chang
    School of Health Sciences University of Western Sydney Richmond, Australia
  • Chris McCready
    Department of Health Sciences University of Technology Sydney, Australia
  • Alison Shepley
    Speech Therapy Departments Mater Misericordiae Public Hospitals Brisbane, Australia
  • Annette McCaul
    Speech Therapy Departments Mater Misericordiae Public Hospitals Brisbane, Australia
  • Deborah Costello
    Speech Therapy Departments Mater Misericordiae Public Hospitals Brisbane, Australia
  • Shanne Harding
    Speech Therapy Departments Mater Misericordiae Public Hospitals Brisbane, Australia
  • Roberta Kehren
    Speech Therapy Departments Mater Misericordiae Public Hospitals Brisbane, Australia
  • Catherine Masel
    Speech Therapy Departments Mater Misericordiae Public Hospitals Brisbane, Australia
  • Karen Reilly
    Speech Therapy Departments Mater Misericordiae Public Hospitals Brisbane, Australia
  • Contact author: Ashley Craig, PhD, Department of Health Science, University of Technology, Sydney, P.O. Box 123, Broadway, New South Wales, Australia 2007.
    Contact author: Ashley Craig, PhD, Department of Health Science, University of Technology, Sydney, P.O. Box 123, Broadway, New South Wales, Australia 2007.×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 1996
A Controlled Clinical Trial for Stuttering in Persons Aged 9 to 14 Years
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1996, Vol. 39, 808-826. doi:10.1044/jshr.3904.808
History: Received July 27, 1995 , Accepted March 6, 1996
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1996, Vol. 39, 808-826. doi:10.1044/jshr.3904.808
History: Received July 27, 1995; Accepted March 6, 1996

This paper presents the results of a controlled trial of child stuttering treatment. The aim of the study was, first, to compare the effectiveness of three viable treatments, and, second, to compare these three treatments to a no-treatment control composed of children who stuttered of a similar age and sex ratio who were on treatment waiting lists. The three treatments investigated included intensive smooth speech, intensive electromyography feedback, and home-based smooth speech. The children/adolescents were assessed across three speaking contexts on measures of percentage syllables stuttered (%SS) and syllables spoken per minute (SPM) and outcomes were assessed 12 months later. Repeated measures analyses of variance demonstrated significant differences between the control group and all three treatment groups across time on conversations in the clinic, on the telephone, and at home (although home measures were not taken for the intensive smooth speech group). Although the controls' stuttering did not change across time, the treatment groups' stuttering was decreased to very low levels posttreatment (less than 1% syllables stuttered on average), with mean improvement in stuttering frequency of at least 85% to 90% across all assessment contexts. Stuttering did not increase significantly up to 3 months and one year posttreatment in the experimental groups, although levels did rise across time (less than 3% syllables stuttered on average). Speech naturalness results showed increasing naturalness across time as rated by the clinician and parent. This was not the case for the controls. The children were also less anxious across time following treatment. The results suggest that all three treatments for children aged 9–14 who stutter were very successful in the long term for over 70% of the group, though the EMG feedback and home-based treatments were superior when percentages falling below a cutoff point (2%SS) were used to discriminate between groups. Implications for child/adolescent treatment in the community are discussed. Long-term outcomes will be assessed up to 5 years after the treatment.

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by The University of Technology, Sydney, and a Commonwealth of Australia Health Grant (RADGAC). Thanks also to the following funding bodies who also contributed financially to the research: the BBM, the Australian Rotary Health Research Fund, the Sunshine Foundation, and the Inger Rice Foundation. Thanks to Mark Onslow for his assistance in writing the manuscript. To Charles Healey and John Folkins for their editorial support, Gordon Blood for his thorough review, and two anonymous reviewers for their comments.
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