We Have a Voice: Exploring Participants' Experiences of Stuttering Modification Therapy Purpose Qualitative data were obtained from 8 people who stutter about their experiences and changes they perceived following attendance of an intensive group therapy intervention. Measures that related to reductions in stuttering, improved communicative confidence, and impacts on stuttering and quality of life were used to complement the qualitative data. ... Research Article
Research Article  |   October 19, 2018
We Have a Voice: Exploring Participants' Experiences of Stuttering Modification Therapy
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Rachel A. Everard
    Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, University College London, United Kingdom
    Speech Therapy, City Literary Institute, London, United Kingdom
  • Peter Howell
    Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, University College London, United Kingdom
  • 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 Rachel Everard: rachel.everard@citylit.ac.uk
  • Editor-in-Chief: Julie Barkmeier-Kraemer
    Editor-in-Chief: Julie Barkmeier-Kraemer×
  • Editor: Sharon Millard
    Editor: Sharon Millard×
  • Publisher Note: This article is part of the Special Issue: The 11th Oxford Dysfluency Conference.
    Publisher Note: This article is part of the Special Issue: The 11th Oxford Dysfluency Conference.×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Special Issue: The 11th Oxford Dysfluency Conference / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 19, 2018
We Have a Voice: Exploring Participants' Experiences of Stuttering Modification Therapy
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, October 2018, Vol. 27, 1273-1286. doi:10.1044/2018_AJSLP-ODC11-17-0198
History: Received November 17, 2017 , Revised March 16, 2018 , Accepted July 26, 2018
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, October 2018, Vol. 27, 1273-1286. doi:10.1044/2018_AJSLP-ODC11-17-0198
History: Received November 17, 2017; Revised March 16, 2018; Accepted July 26, 2018
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose Qualitative data were obtained from 8 people who stutter about their experiences and changes they perceived following attendance of an intensive group therapy intervention. Measures that related to reductions in stuttering, improved communicative confidence, and impacts on stuttering and quality of life were used to complement the qualitative data.

Method Eight participants attended a group stuttering modification course for adults who stutter. They reported their experiences of therapy and perceived changes in a focus group immediately after therapy and at a semistructured interview 6 months post-therapy. Participants completed 5 additional quantitative standardized outcome measures at 3 data collection points (before and directly after therapy and 6 months post-therapy). These measures provided information about stuttering severity and frequency, use of avoidance strategies, attitude change, communicative confidence, quality of life, and locus of control.

Results Thematic analysis of the qualitative data identified 4 main areas: thoughts, feelings, and behaviors before therapy and motivation for seeking therapy; direct experience of the course; learning outcomes and challenges and solutions for maintaining change; and ways in which attending therapy had made a difference. These reported changes were supported by the quantitative measures that demonstrated improved communicative confidence; increased self-awareness; affective, behavioral, and cognitive changes; reduced use of avoidance strategies; and lower impact of stuttering on quality of life.

Conclusions The qualitative analyses confirmed positive speech and attitude changes consequent on participants' attendance at stuttering modification therapy. These changes, further corroborated by quantitative measures, were linked to reports of improved quality of life. Further research is required to investigate the effectiveness of this form of therapy empirically and from the client's perspective.

Acknowledgments
The authors would like to thank all the participants who gave so generously of their time, as well as their University College London and City Lit colleagues for their valuable contributions.
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