Authors: Onslow M, Costa L, Andrews C, Harrison E, Packman A
Title: Speech outcomes of a prolonged-speech treatment for stuttering
Source: Journal of Speech and Hearing Research 1996 39(4): 734-749
Year: 1996
Research Design: Case Series

It has been shown that people who stutter can speak with greatly reduced stuttering after treatments that use variations of Goldiamond's (1965) prolonged-speech (PS). However, outcome research to date has not taken account of several important issues. In particular, speech outcome measures in that research have been insufficient to show that lasting relief from stuttering has been achieved by clients outside the clinic for meaningful periods. The present study used extensive speech outcome measures across a variety of situations in evaluating the outcome of an intensive PS treatment (Ingham, 1987). The speech of 12 clients in this treatment was assessed on three occasions prior to treatment and frequently -on eight occasions- after discharge from the residential setting. For 7 clients, a further assessment occurred at 3 years posttreatment. Concurrent dependent measures were percent syllables stuttered, syllables per minute, and speech naturalness. The dependent measures were collected in many speaking situations within and beyond the clinic. Dependent measures were based on speech samples of substantive duration, and covert assessments were included in the study. Detailed data were presented for individual subjects. Results showed that 12 subjects who remained with the entire 2-3-year program achieved zero or near-zero stuttering. The majority of subjects did not show a regression trend in %SS or speech naturalness scores during the posttreatment period, either within or beyond the clinic. Some subjects showed higher posttreatment %SS scores during covert assessment than during overt assessment. Results also showed that stuttering was eliminated without using unusually slow and unnatural speech patterns. This treatment program does not specify a target speech rate range, and many clients maintained stutter-free speech using speech rates that were higher than the range typically specified in intensive PS programs. A significant correlation was found between speech rate and perceived posttreatment speech naturalness.

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