Absolute and Relative Reliability of Percentage of Syllables Stuttered and Severity Rating Scales Purpose Percentage of syllables stuttered (%SS) and severity rating (SR) scales are measures in common use to quantify stuttering severity and its changes during basic and clinical research conditions. However, their reliability has not been assessed with indices measuring both relative and absolute reliability. This study was designed to provide ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2014
Absolute and Relative Reliability of Percentage of Syllables Stuttered and Severity Rating Scales
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Hamid Karimi
    Australian Stuttering Research Centre, University of Sydney
    Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
  • Sue O’Brian
    Australian Stuttering Research Centre, University of Sydney
  • Mark Onslow
    Australian Stuttering Research Centre, University of Sydney
  • Mark Jones
    University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Mark Onslow: mark.onslow@sydney.edu.au
  • Editor: Jody Kreiman
    Editor: Jody Kreiman×
  • Associate Editor: Hans-Georg Bosshardt
    Associate Editor: Hans-Georg Bosshardt×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2014
Absolute and Relative Reliability of Percentage of Syllables Stuttered and Severity Rating Scales
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2014, Vol. 57, 1284-1295. doi:10.1044/2014_JSLHR-S-13-0106
History: Received April 25, 2013 , Revised November 28, 2013 , Accepted February 9, 2014
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2014, Vol. 57, 1284-1295. doi:10.1044/2014_JSLHR-S-13-0106
History: Received April 25, 2013; Revised November 28, 2013; Accepted February 9, 2014
Web of Science® Times Cited: 2

Purpose Percentage of syllables stuttered (%SS) and severity rating (SR) scales are measures in common use to quantify stuttering severity and its changes during basic and clinical research conditions. However, their reliability has not been assessed with indices measuring both relative and absolute reliability. This study was designed to provide such information. Relative reliability deals with the rank order of participants in a sample, whereas absolute reliability measures the closeness of scores to one other and to a hypothetical true score.

Method Eighty-seven adult participants who stutter received a 10-min unscheduled telephone call. Three experienced judges measured %SS and also used a 9-point SR scale to measure stuttering severity from recordings of the telephone calls.

Results Relative intrajudge and interjudge reliability were satisfactory for both scales. However, absolute intrajudge and interjudge reliability were not satisfactory. Results showed that paired-judge SR and %SS procedures improved absolute reliability compared with single-judge measures. Additionally, the paired-judge procedure improved relative reliability from high to very high levels.

Conclusion Measurement of group changes of stuttering severity can be done in research contexts using either %SS or SR. However, for detecting changes within individuals using such measures, a paired-judge procedure is a more reliable method.

Acknowledgment
This research was supported by Program Grant 633007 from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.
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