Tim Brunson DCH

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The effectiveness of stuttering treatments in Germany.



PURPOSE: Persons who stutter (PWS) should be referred to the most effective treatments available, locally or regionally. A prospective comparison of the effects of the most common stuttering treatments in Germany is not available. Therefore, a retrospective evaluation by clients of stuttering treatments was carried out. METHOD: The five most common German stuttering treatments (231 single treatment cases) were rated as to their perceived effectiveness, using a structured questionnaire, by 88 PWS recruited through various sources. The participants had received between 1 and 7 treatments for stuttering. RESULTS: Two stuttering treatments (stuttering modification, fluency shaping) showed favorable and three treatments (breathing therapy, hypnosis, unspecified logopedic treatment) showed unsatisfactory effectiveness ratings. The effectiveness ratings of stuttering modification and fluency shaping did not differ significantly. The three other treatments were equally ineffective. The differences between the effective and ineffective treatments were of large effect sizes. The typical therapy biography begins in childhood with an unspecified logopedic treatment administered extensively in single and individual sessions. Available comparisons showed intensive or interval treatments to be superior to extensive treatments, and group treatments to be superior to single client treatments. CONCLUSION: The stuttering treatment most often prescribed in Germany, namely a weekly session of individual treatment by a speech-language pathologist, usually with an assorted package of mostly unknown components, is of limited effectiveness. Better effectiveness can be expected from fluency shaping or stuttering modification approaches, preferably with an intensive time schedule and with group sessions. EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES: Readers will be able to: (a) discuss the five most prevalent stuttering treatments in Germany; (b) summarize the effectiveness of these treatments; and (c) describe structural treatment components that seem to be preferable across different kinds of treatments.

J Fluency Disord. 2014 Mar;39:1-11. doi: 10.1016/j.jfludis.2014.01.002. Euler HA(1), Lange BP(2), Schroeder S(3), Neumann K(4). Author information: (1)Department of Phoniatrics and Pediatric Audiology, Clinic of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, St. Elisabeth Hospital, Ruhr-University Bochum, Bleichstr. 16, D-44787 Bochum, Germany. Electronic address: euler@uni-kassel.de. (2)Department of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology, Georg-August-University Goettingen, Waldweg 37, D-37073 Goettingen, Germany. Electronic address: benjamin.lange@med.uni-goettingen.de. (3)Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Lentzeallee 94, D-14195 Berlin, Germany; Institute of Psychology, University of Kassel, Hollaendische Str. 36-38, D-34127 Kassel, Germany. Electronic address: sascha.schroeder@mpib-berlin.de. (4)Department of Phoniatrics and Pediatric Audiology, Clinic of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, St. Elisabeth Hospital, Ruhr-University Bochum, Bleichstr. 16, D-44787 Bochum, Germany. Electronic address: Katrin.Neumann@rub.de.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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