Comparison of percentage of syllables stuttered with parent-reported severity ratings as a primary outcome measure in clinical trials of early stuttering treatment

Mark Onslow*, Mark Jones, Sue O’Brian, Ann Packman, Ross Menzies, Robyn Lowe, Simone Arnott, Kate Bridgman, Caroline de Sonneville, Marie Christine Franken

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: This report investigates whether parent-reported stuttering severity ratings (SRs) provide similar estimates of effect size as percentage of syllables stuttered (%SS) for randomized trials of early stuttering treatment with preschool children.

Method: Data sets from 3 randomized controlled trials of an early stuttering intervention were selected for analyses. Analyses included median changes and 95% confidence intervals per treatment group, Bland-Altman plots, analysis of covariance, and Spearman rho correlations.

Results: Both SRs and %SS showed large effect sizes from pretreatment to follow-up, although correlations between the 2 measures were moderate at best. Absolute agreement between the 2 measures improved as percentage reduction of stuttering frequency and severity increased, probably due to innate measurement limitations for participants with low baseline severity. Analysis of covariance for the 3 trials showed consistent results.

Conclusion: There is no statistical reason to favor %SS over parent-reported stuttering SRs as primary outcomes for clinical trials of early stuttering treatment. However, there are logistical reasons to favor parent-reported stuttering SRs. We conclude that parent-reported rating of the child's typical stuttering severity for the week or month prior to each assessment is a justifiable alternative to %SS as a primary outcome measure in clinical trials of early stuttering treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)811-819
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Volume61
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes

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