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Pró-Fono Revista de Atualização Científica

Print version ISSN 0104-5687

Pró-Fono R. Atual. Cient. vol.22 no.4 Barueri Oct./Dec. 2010

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-56872010000400035 

ARTIGOS DE ESTUDOS DE CASO

 

The impact of stuttering on quality of life of children and adolescents*

 

 

Regina Yu Shon ChunI, **; Carina Dantas MendesII; J Scott YarussIII; Robert W QuesalIV

ISpeech-Language Pathologist (SLP). Pos-Doctorate in Linguistics, Institute of Language Studies, University of Campinas - Unicamp. Professor in the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Course and the Professional Master Program - Health, Interdisciplinarity and Rehabilitation, CEPRE - Faculty of Medical Sciences (FCM), Unicamp (SP, Brazil)
IISLP. Specialist in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology - Hearing Health Program, FCM, Unicamp
IIISLP. Board-Recognized Specialist and Mentor in Fluency Disorders. Associate Director, Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh (CHP), EUA. Co-Director, Stuttering Center of Western Pennsylvania, EUA
IVSLP, Board Recognized Specialist in Fluency Disorders, Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL, EUA

 

 


ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: understanding the experience of people who stutter, both in and out treatment, will lead to improved outcomes.
AIM: to investigate how stuttering affects the quality of life of children and adolescents who stutter.
METHOD: the Overall Assessment of the Speaker's Experience of Stuttering - School-Age (OASES-S) was used to assess the impact of stuttering and the Fluency Profile Protocol was used to stuttering severity.
RESULTS: these age groups do experience moderate negative impact as measured by the OASES-S. The results showed a tendency toward a positive correlation between severity and the impact of stuttering on quality of life.
CONCLUSION: a better understanding of the impact of stuttering in these age groups provides a needed guide for the development of stuttering treatments and treatment outcomes research.

Key Words: Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences; Quality of Life; Stuttering.


RESUMO

TEMA: compreender a experiência das pessoas que gaguejam, dentro e fora do contexto de tratamento, conduz a melhores resultados.
OBJETIVO: investigar como a gagueira afeta a qualidade de vida de crianças e adolescentes que gaguejam.
MÉTODO: o Overall Assessment of the Speaker's Experience of Stuttering - School-Age (OASES-S) foi utilizado para avaliar o impacto da gagueira e o Protocolo do Perfil da Fluência para severidade da gagueira.
RESULTADOS: os grupos estudados experienciam impacto negativo moderado conforme medido pelo OASES-S. Os resultados evidenciam tendência à correlação positiva entre grau de severidade e impacto da gagueira na qualidade de vida.
CONCLUSÃO: uma melhor compreensão do impacto da gagueira nas faixas etárias estudadas propicia direção necessária para desenvolvimento de tratamentos da gagueira e pesquisa dos resultados do tratamento.

Palavras-Chave: Fonoaudiologia; Qualidade de Vida; Gagueira.


 

 

Introduction

Starting in childhood, people who stutter can suffer consequences that affect their lives. The influence of health conditions upon the quality of life (QOL) has gained attention around the world, according to the polices of the World Health Organization. Therefore, understanding the experience of people who stutter, both in and out treatment, will lead to improved outcomes.

Authors1-2 have developed the Overall Assessment of the Speaker's Experience of Stuttering - Adult version (OASES-A), an instrument based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF)3. This classification "(...) replaces the negative perspective of impairment and disability with a positive standpoint".4

A key aspect of the ICF is its focus on QOL.Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate how stuttering affects QOL of children and adolescents who stutter.

 

Method

The study was approved by Ethics Committee and the responsibles have signed the Consent Term. The corpus are composed by 7 subjects from 7 to 12 years old, six males and one female. The instrument for the assessment of the impact of stuttering - a draft version of the Overall Assessment of the Speaker's Experience of Stuttering for School-Age - (ages 7-12) - OASES-S, was duly authorized for use in this research by the authors. It was translated by a translator and adapted to Portuguese by the brazilian researchers. Stuttering severity was evaluated via Fluency Profile Protocol5.

 

Results

The results regarding the Assessment of Total Impact show: 57,1% classified as moderate; 28,5% mild-to-moderate and 14,2%, moderate-to-severe (Graph 1).

 

 

Furthermore, 71,4% reported feeling "very bad" for being called stutterers. An identical percentage indicated that other people's reaction to their stuttering affects them a little. The majority considered that stuttering does not interfere in the communication with parents (71,4%) or teachers (57,1%). A similar percentage (57,1%) indicated that stuttering does not affect their lives neither their ability to make decisions. Most of them (71,4%) reported that the Speech-language therapy does not interfere negatively in their lives.

According to the Fluency Profile Protocol5; only one subject was not rated as stuttering, according to the reference values, even though he indicated that he feels like stutterer.

To verify the correlation between the variables of the Total Impact of Stuttering and the percentage of speech disruptions (Graph 2) was applied to the Spearman Correlation Test using SPSS - Statistical Package for the Social Sciences for Windows - version 10.0. The correlation coefficient was rho = 0.771 (significant a = 1.0). The results showed tendency toward a positive correlation between severity and impact of stuttering on QOL.

 

 

Discussion

Studies6-8 show the impact of stuttering on people's life, corroborating our findings. The age groups studied do experience moderate negative impact as measured by the OASES-S and the correlation between overt severity and degree of impact is moderate at best, suggesting that the surface severity does not tell you the whole picture.

The results also demonstrate the importance of Speech and Language Pathology (SLP) therapy for the subjects, similar findings to other authors9. This study presents "a new instrument for measuring the overall impact of stuttering through assessment of multiple aspects of the disorder."1

 

Conclusion

The study contributes knowledge about the impact of stuttering and supports the use of treatment to improve quality of life in children and adolescents who stutter. It is worth to point out that the instruments - OASES-S and Fluency Profile Protocol demonstrated to be efficient for that purpose. A better understanding of the impact of stuttering in these age groups provides a needed guide for the development of stuttering treatments and treatment outcomes research.

Acknowledgements: this work was part funded by the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq). Thanks to the chidren and adolescents who participed in this research and to Professor J. Scott Yaruss and Professor Robert W Quesal for allowing the use of OASES-S and for the partnership at this study.

 

References

1. Yaruss JS, Quesal R. Overall assessment of the speaking experiences of stuttering (OASES): Documenting multiple outcomes in stuttering treatment. Journal of Fluency Disorders. 2006;31:90-115.         [ Links ]

2. Yaruss JS, Quesal RW. OASES: Overall Assessment of the Speaker's Experience of Stuttering. Bloomington, MN: Pearson Assessments; 2008.         [ Links ]

3. Yaruss JS, Quesal RW. Stuttering and the International Classification of Functioning, disability, and health (ICF): an update. Journal of Communication Disorders. 2004;37:35-52.         [ Links ]

4. Buchalla CMA. Classificação Internacional de Funcionalidade, Incapacidade e Saúde: conceitos, usos e perspectivas. Rev. Bras. Epidemiol. 2005;8(2):107-93.         [ Links ]

5. Andrade CRF de. Perfil da fluência da fala: parâmetros comparativos diferenciado por idade para crianças, adolescentes, adultos e idosos. Série livros digitais de pesquisa financiados por agências de fomento. Barueri: Pró-Fono; 2006.         [ Links ]

6. Klompas M, Ross E. Life experiences of people who stutter and the perceived impact of stuttering on quality of life: personal accounts of South African individuals. Journal of Fluency Disorders. 2004;29(4):275-305.         [ Links ]

7. Andrade CRF, Sassi FC, Juste FS, Ercolin B. Qualidade de vida em indivíduos com gagueira desenvolvimental persistente. Quality of life of individuals with persistent developmental stuttering. Pró-Fono Revista de Atualização Científica. 2008;20(4):219-24.         [ Links ]

8. Craig A, Blumgart E, Tran Y.The impact of stuttering on the quality of life in adults who stutter. Journal of Fluency Disorders. 2009;34:61-71.         [ Links ]

9. Hearne A, Packman A, Onslow M, Quine S. Stuttering and its treatment in adolescence: The perceptions of people who stutter. Journal of Fluency Disorders. 2008;33:81-98.         [ Links ]

 

 

Recebido em 14.01.2010.
Revisado em 18.06.2010; 04.11.2010.
Aceito para Publicação em 04.11.2010.
Conflito de Interesse: não

 

 

* Study Developed in the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Course of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, Unicamp, with the Collaboration of Dr J. Scott Yaruss, University of Pittsburgh (PA, EUA) and Dr Robert W. Quesal, Western Illinois University (Macomb, IL, EUA).
** Correspondence Adress: Rua Tessália Vieira de Camargo, 126 - Cidade Universitária Zeferino Vaz - Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil - CEP 13084-971 (reginayu@fcm.unicamp.br).
Artigo Submetido a Avaliação por Pares