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Children who stutter: Important therapy outcomes (Cooke & Millard, 2018)

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journal contribution
posted on 2018-10-19, 20:43 authored by Katie Cooke, Sharon K. Millard
Purpose: The aim of this article was to identify what school-aged children who stutter consider to be the most important outcomes from therapy.
Method: A Delphi approach was employed for the study. Eighteen participants aged 9–13 years completed a survey, generating 90 statements that would constitute successful therapy outcomes. After categorization and reduction, 79 statements were sent to participants in a second survey to seek consensus on their importance. Fifteen participants aged 8–14 years completed this second survey. Statements with the highest median ratings and smallest standard deviations were retained.
Results: Twenty-one statements were retained after analysis. These reflected hopes for affective and behavioral change in the young person and in other people after therapy. Important outcomes included, but are not limited to, increased fluency, greater independence, increased confidence at school, others knowing how to support the individual, and communication situations feeling easier.
Conclusions: Participants identified a range of outcomes that were important to achieve as a result of speech and language therapy. The findings suggest a need for a more holistic view of what is meant by successful therapy, incorporating improvements in the ability to communicate and participate in daily situations. The findings suggest that an integrated or holistic approach to intervention would be required to achieve these goals and should include significant others from the child’s environment. The important statements identified in this study could be used to inform the content of therapy and to evaluate change over time.

Supplemental Material S1. Survey responses from the first "Statement Generation" survey.

Cooke, K., & Millard, S. (2018). The most important therapy outcomes for school-aged children who stutter: An exploratory study. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 27(3S), 1152–1163.

Publisher Note: This article is part of the Special Issue: The 11th Oxford Dysfluency Conference.


This study was supported by Whittington Health and The Michael Palin Centre.