Real Enough: Using Virtual Public Speaking Environments to Evoke Feelings and Behaviors Targeted in Stuttering Assessment and Treatment Purpose Virtual reality environments (VREs) are computer-generated, 3-dimensional worlds that allow users to experience situations similar to those encountered in the real world. The purpose of this study was to investigate VREs for potential use in assessing and treating persons who stutter (PWS) by determining the extent to which PWS's ... Research Article
Research Article  |   May 2015
Real Enough: Using Virtual Public Speaking Environments to Evoke Feelings and Behaviors Targeted in Stuttering Assessment and Treatment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Shelley B. Brundage
    George Washington University, Washington, DC
  • Adrienne B. Hancock
    George Washington University, Washington, DC
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Shelley B. Brundage: Brundage@gwu.edu
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Nancy Hall
    Associate Editor: Nancy Hall×
  • Copyright © 2015 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Articles
Research Article   |   May 2015
Real Enough: Using Virtual Public Speaking Environments to Evoke Feelings and Behaviors Targeted in Stuttering Assessment and Treatment
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2015, Vol. 24, 139-149. doi:10.1044/2014_AJSLP-14-0087
History: Received June 24, 2014 , Revised September 16, 2014 , Accepted October 20, 2014
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2015, Vol. 24, 139-149. doi:10.1044/2014_AJSLP-14-0087
History: Received June 24, 2014; Revised September 16, 2014; Accepted October 20, 2014
Acknowledgments
We thank Kristin Kiselewich Stricks and Lindsay Stallings Dutko for their assistance with data collection and data entry. We thank Josh Spitalnick for comments on an earlier version of this article. This work was supported by a Columbian College Dean's Travel Award, given to the first author.

Purpose Virtual reality environments (VREs) are computer-generated, 3-dimensional worlds that allow users to experience situations similar to those encountered in the real world. The purpose of this study was to investigate VREs for potential use in assessing and treating persons who stutter (PWS) by determining the extent to which PWS's affective, behavioral, and cognitive measures in a VRE correlate with those same measures in a similar live environment.

Method Ten PWS delivered speeches—first to a live audience and, on another day, to 2 virtual audiences (neutral and challenging audiences). Participants completed standard tests of communication apprehension and confidence prior to each condition, and frequency of stuttering was measured during each speech.

Results Correlational analyses revealed significant, positive correlations between virtual and live conditions for affective and cognitive measures as well as for frequency of stuttering.

Conclusions These findings suggest that virtual public speaking environments engender affective, behavioral, and cognitive reactions in PWS that correspond to those experienced in the real world. Therefore, the authentic, safe, and controlled environments provided by VREs may be useful for stuttering assessment and treatment.

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