Authors: Laiho A, Elovaara H, Kaisamatti K, Luhtalampi K, Talaskivi L, Pohja S, Routamo-Jaatela K, Vuorio E
Title: Stuttering interventions for children, adolescents, and adults: a systematic review as a part of clinical guidelines
Source: Journal of Communication Disorders 2022 99: Article ID: 106242
Year: 2022
Research Design: Systematic Review

Introduction: Stuttering may have a holistic effect on the quality of life of a person who stutters by limiting participation in social situations, resulting in feelings of isolation and frustration, leading to difficulties in education and employment and increasing the likelihood of mental health problems. Even young children who stutter may have negative experiences of speaking. Therefore, it is important to treat stuttering behavior effectively in both children and adults. The purpose of this paper was to systematically review group and case studies about the effectiveness of behavioral stuttering interventions to provide evidence-based guidelines for clinicians. Method(s): Systematic data retrieval was conducted in four electronic databases (PsycINFO, CINAHL, PubMed, Cochrane). The assessment of search results was conducted according to predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria by two independent judges. The methodological quality of each paper was assessed using strict criteria to include only high-quality research. Result(s): The search revealed 2293 results, and 38 papers (systematic reviews N=3, group design studies N=21 and case studies N=14) with acceptable methodological quality were included. The data show that there is most evidence about the treatment of early childhood stuttering, very little evidence about school-aged children and some evidence about adults. The most convincing evidence is about the Lidcombe Program in the treatment of young children who stutter, but also other methods have promising evidence. Our data imply that in the treatment of adults who stutter, holistic treatments may influence speech fluency and overall experience of stuttering behavior. Speech restructuring treatments may have a positive effect on overt characteristics of stuttering, but not on covert stuttering behavior. Conclusion(s): The results of this review agree with earlier reviews about the treatment of young children. However, due to different inclusion criteria, this review also shows the benefits of holistic treatment approaches with adults and adolescents.

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