Comparisons of Audio and Audiovisual Measures of Stuttering Frequency and Severity in Preschool-Age Children Purpose To determine whether measures of stuttering frequency and measures of overall stuttering severity in preschoolers differ when made from audio-only recordings compared with audiovisual recordings. Method Four blinded speech-language pathologists who had extensive experience with preschoolers who stutter measured stuttering frequency and rated overall severity from audio-only ... Research Article
Research Article  |   May 01, 2008
Comparisons of Audio and Audiovisual Measures of Stuttering Frequency and Severity in Preschool-Age Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Isabelle Rousseau
    Australian Stuttering Research Centre, The University of Sydney
  • Mark Onslow
    Australian Stuttering Research Centre, The University of Sydney
  • Ann Packman
    Australian Stuttering Research Centre, The University of Sydney
  • Mark Jones
    Queensland Clinical Trials Centre, University of Queensland, Australia
  • Contact author: Mark Onslow, Australian Stuttering Research Centre, P.O. Box 170, Lidcombe, NSW 2141, Australia. E-mail: m.onslow@usyd.edu.au.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   May 01, 2008
Comparisons of Audio and Audiovisual Measures of Stuttering Frequency and Severity in Preschool-Age Children
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2008, Vol. 17, 173-178. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2008/017)
History: Received February 15, 2007 , Accepted September 7, 2007
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2008, Vol. 17, 173-178. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2008/017)
History: Received February 15, 2007; Accepted September 7, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 12

Purpose To determine whether measures of stuttering frequency and measures of overall stuttering severity in preschoolers differ when made from audio-only recordings compared with audiovisual recordings.

Method Four blinded speech-language pathologists who had extensive experience with preschoolers who stutter measured stuttering frequency and rated overall severity from audio-only and audiovisual recordings of 36 preschool children who were stuttering. Stuttering frequency (percentage of syllables stuttered [%SS]) was based on counts of perceptually unambiguous stutterings, made in real time, and overall severity was measured using a 9-point rating scale.

Results Stuttering frequency was statistically significantly lower by around 20% when made from audio-only recordings. This was found to be directly attributable to differences in the counts of stuttered syllables, rather than to differences in the total numbers of syllables spoken. No significant differences were found between recording modalities for the ratings of overall severity. Correlations between %SS scores in the 2 modalities and severity rating scores in the 2 modalities were high, indicating that observers agreed on data trends across speech samples.

Conclusions Measures of %SS made from audio-only recordings may underestimate stuttering frequency in preschoolers. Although audio-only %SS measures may underestimate stuttering frequency at the start of a clinical trial to a clinically significant extent, posttreatment scores at or below 1.0%SS are likely to underestimate by 0.2%SS or less, which is clinically insignificant.

Acknowledgment
This project was supported by Program Grant 402763 from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.
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