Lidcombe Program telehealth treatment for children 6–12 years of age: A Phase II trial

Georgina Johnson*, Mark Onslow, Brenda Carey, Mark Jones, Elaina Kefalianos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Background: 

For children older than 6 years who stutter, there is a gap in clinical research. This is an issue for speech-language pathologists because the tractability of stuttering decreases and the risk of long-term psychological consequences increase with age. 

Purpose: 

To report a Phase II trial of a telehealth version of the Lidcombe Program with school-age children. 

Methods: 

Participants were 37 children who stuttered, 6–12 years of age, from Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Parents were trained by video telehealth how to deliver the Lidcombe Program to their child. Primary and secondary outcomes were stuttering severity and psychosocial functioning measured pre-treatment and at 6 months and 12 months after starting treatment. Parents submitted two 10-minute recordings of their child speaking in conversation, and three measures of anxiety, impact of stuttering, and communication attitude. 

Results: 

Six months after starting treatment, seven children (18.9%) attained Lidcombe Program Stage 2 criteria, 25 children (67.6%) showed a partial response to treatment, and five children (13.5%) showed no response. By 12 months, 12 children (32.4%) had reached Stage 2 criteria. Psychosocial improvements were observed 6 and 12 months after starting treatment. 

Conclusions: 

The Lidcombe Program may eliminate or nearly eliminate stuttering for about one third of children 6–12 years of age. Randomized controlled trials with this age group involving the Lidcombe Program are warranted. In the interim, the Lidcombe Program is a clinical option clinicians can implement with this age group to reduce stuttering and its psychosocial impacts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106057
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Fluency Disorders
Volume80
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024

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