Authors: Bray M, James S
Title: An evaluation of a telephone assistive device (TAD) for people who stutter
Source: International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology 2009 11(1): 54-60
Year: 2009
Research Design: Case Series

Using the telephone can be difficult and uncomfortable for people who stutter, leading to anxiety and avoidance of the phone for many. The possibility of an aid to reduce the amount of stuttering and the feelings associated with phone use may appeal to people who stutter and who need to use a telephone for social or work-related communication. Such a device is currently being developed by the makers of VoiceAmp, a small body-worn feedback device, using altered auditory feedback through a telephone interface. This study is an initial trial of a telephone assistive device (TAD) using a multiple case-study time series procedure. Five participants were recruited in order to record themselves making phone calls in natural settings before using TAD and with TAD. Percentage syllables stuttered and self-ratings of feelings and attitudes to phone calls were collected. Results suggest a trend towards both reduced frequency of stuttering and increased positive feelings and attitudes. It would appear from this small scale study that use of a dedicated device for a specifically problematic situation such as telephone calls is positively indicated for some people who stutter and warrants further investigation.

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