Describing the Consequences of Disorders Stuttering and the International Classification of Impairments, Disabilities, and Handicaps Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 1998
Describing the Consequences of Disorders
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • J. Scott Yaruss
    Northwestern University Evanston, IL
  • Contact author: J. Scott Yaruss, PhD, Speech and Language Pathology, Northwestern University, 2299 North Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208-3570. Email: jsyaruss@nwu.edu
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 1998
Describing the Consequences of Disorders
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1998, Vol. 41, 249-257. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4102.249
History: Received May 12, 1997 , Accepted October 27, 1997
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1998, Vol. 41, 249-257. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4102.249
History: Received May 12, 1997; Accepted October 27, 1997

The International Classification of Impairments, Disabilities, and Handicaps (ICIDH) proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO, 1980) can be a useful method for describing the experiences of individuals exhibiting speech and language disorders such as stuttering. Unfortunately, the definitions for the terms impairment, disability, and handicap that were previously presented in the stuttering literature have not accurately represented the true purpose of the ICIDH as a tool for describing the consequences of disorders. This paper reviews the history of these terms in the stuttering literature and proposes alternate definitions that are more consistent with the use of the ICIDH elsewhere in the field of communication disorders, as well as within the health-related professions in general. Based on the ICIDH framework, a model is proposed for discussing the outcomes of various types of stuttering treatments in the context of an individual's experience of the stuttering disorder, and the implications for treatment outcomes research using this framework are discussed.

Acknowledgments
The author is indebted to Dr. Cynthia Thompson for many hours of invaluable discussion regarding the ICIDH as it applies to speech, language, and hearing disorders. The author is also grateful to Drs. Edward G. Conture and Richard Curlee for discussions about their use of the ICIDH, and to Drs. Joy Armson, E. Charles Healey, and Megan Neilson, for discussions about the ABCs of stuttering. Finally, the author is grateful to the three anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments about an earlier version of this manuscript.
Portions of this paper were presented at the 1997 “State of the Art Conference” on Treatment Efficacy at the University of Georgia, Athens, and the 1997 ASHA Division 4 Leadership Conference on Defining Treatment Outcomes in Stuttering, Tucson, AZ.
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