Authors: Millard SK, Zebrowski P, Kelman E
Title: Palin Parent–Child Interaction Therapy: The Bigger Picture
Source: American Journal of Speech Language Pathology 2018 27(3S): 1211-1223
Year: 2018
Research Design: Case Series

Purpose: Palin Parent–Child Interaction therapy (Kelman & Nicholas, 2008) is an evidence-based intervention for young children who stutter. The evidence consists of multiple single-subject replicated studies, and this demonstrates that the intervention is effective. The aim of this study was to enhance the evidence base by exploring the effectiveness of the therapy with a large cohort of children who stutter. Method: Children and parents completed a range of assessments at 4 time points: start of therapy and then 3, 6, and 12 months later. The following variables were included: stuttering frequency, child's communication attitude, parents' perception of the impact of the stuttering on the child, the severity of stuttering and its impact on the parents, and their knowledge of stuttering and confidence in managing it. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted to explore whether the variables are predictive for the outcome “parent knowledge and confidence.” In addition, we sought a preliminary view of factors associated with outcome level by separating children into 2 groups according to response to treatment (more successful and less successful). Results: The results demonstrated a significant improvement in all variables, and this improvement was maintained for 1 year post-treatment. Measures collected 3 months after the start of therapy showed significant improvement in child attitude to communication, parents' knowledge and confidence in how to manage stuttering, and mothers' ratings of stuttering severity and impact the child's stuttering has on the mothers. By 6 months after therapy onset, there was a significant reduction in stuttering frequency and fathers' perception of severity and their worry about it. Furthermore, these improvements were maintained 1 year post-therapy. Several variables predicted parents' knowledge and confidence 6 months after the start of therapy. Finally, those who made greater improvements had mothers who were more negative in their ratings of severity and worry, and had less knowledge and confidence at the start of therapy. There were no differences between the groups on a range of other variables. Conclusions: The results demonstrate that, over a year, children who attend a course of Palin Parent–Child Interaction show reduced stuttering frequency and a more positive attitude to speech. In addition, parents observe these improvements in the child, feel more confident in managing the stuttering, and are less worried about it. The different times at which specific variables significantly improved provides insight to a process of change over time. Results suggest that parents' ability to notice positive change in fluency and the impact that these observations have on both the child and the family are linked to their confidence in how to support the child. The preliminary findings with regard to response to treatment suggest that children can benefit from this program even with factors that might be predicted to reduce therapy success.

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