Authors: O'Brian S, Hayhow R, Jones M, Packman A, Iverach L, Onslow M, Menzies R
Title: Lidcombe Program translation to community clinics in Australia and England
Source: International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders 2023 58(2): 295-309
Year: 2023
Research Design: Case Series

BACKGROUND: Early intervention is essential healthcare for stuttering, and the translation of research findings to community settings is a potential roadblock to it. AIMS: This study was designed to replicate and extend the Lidcombe Program community translation findings of O'Brian et al. (2013) but with larger participant numbers, incorporating clinicians (speech pathologists/speech anlanguage therapists) and their clients from Australia and England. METHODS & PROCEDURES: Participants were 51 clinicians working in public and private clinics across Australia (n = 36) and England (n = 15), and 121 of their young stuttering clients and their families. Outcome measures were percentage of syllables stuttered (%SS), parent severity ratings at 9 months post-recruitment, number of clinic visits to complete Stage 1 of the Lidcombe Program, and therapist drift. OUTCOMES & RESULTS: Community clinicians in both countries achieved similar outcomes to those from randomized controlled trials. Therapist drift emerged as an issue with community translation. Speech and language therapists in England attained outcomes 1.0%SS above the speech pathologists in Australia, although their scores were within the range attained in randomized trials. CONCLUSIONS & IMPLICATIONS: Community clinicians from Australia and England can attain Lidcombe Program outcome benchmarks established in randomized trials. This finding is reassuring in light of the controlled conditions in clinical trials of the Lidcombe Program compared with its conduct in community practice. The long-term impact of therapist drift in community clinical practice with the Lidcombe Program has yet to be determined.

Access: Open Access