Authors: Ingham RJ, Bothe AK, Wang Y, Purkhiser K, New A
Title: Phonation interval modification and speech performance quality during fluency-inducing conditions by adults who stutter
Source: Journal of Communication Disorders 2012 45(3): 198-211
Year: 2012
Research Design: Case Series

Purpose: To relate changes in four variables previously defined as characteristic of normally fluent speech to changes in phonatory behavior during oral reading by persons who stutter (PWS) and normally fluent controls under multiple fluency-inducing (FI) conditions. Method: Twelve PWS and 12 controls each completed 4 ABA experiments. During A phases, participants read normally. B phases were 4 different FI conditions: auditory masking, chorus reading, whispering, and rhythmic stimulation. Dependent variables were the durations of accelerometer-recorded phonated intervals; self-judged speech , effort; and observer-judged stuttering frequency, speech rate, and speech naturalness. The method enabled a systematic replication of Ingham et al. (2009). Results: All FI conditions resulted in decreased stuttering and decreases in the number of short phonated intervals, as compared with baseline conditions, but the only FI condition that satisfied all four characteristics of normally fluent speech was chorus reading. Increases in longer phonated intervals were associated with decreased stuttering but also with poorer naturalness and/or increased speech effort. Previous findings concerning the effects of FI conditions on speech naturalness and effort were replicated. Conclusions: Measuring all relevant characteristics of normally fluent speech in the context of treatments that aim to reduce the occurrence of short-duration PIs, may aid the search for an explanation of the nature of stuttering and may also maximize treatment outcomes for adults who stutter.

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