Title

Speaker and Observer Perceptions of Physical Tension during Stuttering.

DOI

10.1159/000486032

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-1-2017

Publication Title

Folia phoniatrica et logopaedica : official organ of the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics (IALP)

Abstract

PURPOSE:Speech-language pathologists routinely assess physical tension during evaluation of those who stutter. If speakers experience tension that is not visible to clinicians, then judgments of severity may be inaccurate. This study addressed this potential discrepancy by comparing judgments of tension by people who stutter and expert clinicians to determine if clinicians could accurately identify the speakers' experience of physical tension. METHOD:Ten adults who stutter were audio-video recorded in two speaking samples. Two board-certified specialists in fluency evaluated the samples using the Stuttering Severity Instrument-4 and a checklist adapted for this study. Speakers rated their tension using the same forms, and then discussed their experiences in a qualitative interview so that themes related to physical tension could be identified. RESULTS:The degree of tension reported by speakers was higher than that observed by specialists. Tension in parts of the body that were less visible to the observer (chest, abdomen, throat) was reported more by speakers than by specialists. The thematic analysis revealed that speakers' experience of tension changes over time and that these changes may be related to speakers' acceptance of stuttering. CONCLUSION:The lack of agreement between speaker and specialist perceptions of tension suggests that using self-reports is a necessary component for supporting the accurate diagnosis of tension in stuttering.

Open Access

OA

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