Author(s): Constantino CD, Leslie P, Quesal RW, Yaruss JS
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Abstract PURPOSE: Variability in frequency of stuttering has made the results of treatment outcome studies difficult to interpret. Many factors that affect variability have been investigated; yet the typical range of variability experienced by speakers remains unknown. This study examined the day-to-day variability in the percentage of syllables containing stuttered and nonstuttered disfluencies in the speech of six adult speakers in three spontaneous speaking situations and two reading tasks. METHODS: The frequency of moments stuttering during the tasks were compared within and between speakers and days to document the degree of variability in stuttering frequency and explore whether there were any consistent patterns. The Stuttering Severity Instrument-Fourth Edition (SSI-4) and Overall Assessment of the Speaker's Experience of Stuttering for Adults (OASES-A) were also tested for day-to-day variability. Correlations between frequency, severity, and life impact were made. RESULTS: The primary result of this study was the large range over which frequency of stuttering varied from day to day for the same individual. This variability did not correlate with any measures of stuttering severity but did correlate with life impact as measured by the OASES-A. No global pattern was detected in variability from day to day within or between participants. However, there were significantly more nonstuttered disfluencies present during the spontaneous speaking tasks than during the reading tasks. The day-to-day variability in the life impact of the disorder (OASES-A) was less than the day-to-day variability in observable stuttering behavior (percentage of syllables stuttered and SSI-4). CONCLUSION: Frequency of stuttering varies significantly from situation to situation and day to day, with observed variability exceeding the degree of change often reported in treatment outcomes studies from before to after treatment. This variability must be accounted for in future clinical and scientific work. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Commun Disord
and referenced in Journal of Speech Pathology & Therapy