Authors: Ritto AP, Juste FS, Stuart A, Kalinowski J, de Andrade CRF
Title: Randomized clinical trial: the use of SpeechEasy® in stuttering treatment
Source: International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders 2016 51(6): 769-774
Year: 2016
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 05/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - Y
Random allocation - Y
Concealed allocation - N
Baseline comparability - N
Blind subjects - N
Blind therapists - N
Blind assessors - Y
Adequate follow-up - Y
Intention-to-treat analysis - N
Between-group comparisons - Y
Point estimates and variability - Y

Background: Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefit of devices delivering altered auditory feedback (AAF) as a therapeutic alternative for those who stutter. Aims: The effectiveness of a device delivering AAF (SpeechEasy®) was compared with behavioural techniques in the treatment of stuttering in a randomized clinical trial. Methods & Procedures: Two groups of adults who stutter participated: group 1 consisted of 10 men and one woman aged 21–42 years (mean = 30.0). Group 2 consisted of six men and one woman aged 20–50 years (mean = 35.6). Participants in group 1 were fit with a SpeechEasy® device and were not given any additional training (i.e., supplementary fluency enhancing techniques). Participants used the device daily for 6 months. Participants in group 2 received treatment in the form of a 12-week fluency promotion protocol with techniques based on both fluency shaping and stuttering modification. Outcomes & Results: There were no statistically significant differences (p > .05) between groups in participants’ stuttered syllables following treatment. That is, both therapeutic protocols achieved approximately 40% reduction in number of stuttered syllables from baseline measures, with no significant relapse after 3 or 6 months post-treatment. Conclusions & Implications: The results suggest that the SpeechEasy® device can be a viable option for the treatment of stuttering.

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