Refutation of a therapeutic alternative? A reply to Pollard, Ellis, Finan, and Ramig (2009)

Tim Saltuklaroglu, Joseph Kalinowski, Andrew Stuart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: To challenge the findings of Pollard, Ellis, Finan, and Ramig (2009), who examined 11 participants using the SpeechEasy, an in-the-ear device that employs altered auditory feedback to reduce stuttering, in a 6-month "clinical trial." Pollard et al. failed to demonstrate a significant treatment effect on stuttering frequency, yet found positive subjective self-report data across four months of use. The authorsconcluded that the device was not therapeutically useful and further testing is unwarranted. Results: We dispute Pollard et al. on the following grounds: Their operational definition of stuttering is confounded as it does not adequately distinguish true stuttering from "normally" disfluent speech or from volitionally produced initiating gestures taught to be used as part of the treatment protocol, nor is it the definition used in their pre- and posttreatment stuttering assessment instrument; they failed to maintain participant adherence to the treatment protocol of device usage; they utilized an inadequate question-asking task; and their conclusion of no significant treatment effect that is drawn from their inferential statistical analyses of group data. Conclusions: In light of problematic objective measurements, reported positive subjective findings, a robust corpus of contradictory data, and the need for alternative stuttering treatments, we argue that the SpeechEasy merits further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)908-911
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Volume53
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Stuttering
Clinical Protocols
Equipment and Supplies
Therapeutics
Gestures
Statistical Data Interpretation
Dissent and Disputes
Self Report
Ear
Refutation
Group
Clinical Trials

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

Cite this

Refutation of a therapeutic alternative? A reply to Pollard, Ellis, Finan, and Ramig (2009). / Saltuklaroglu, Tim; Kalinowski, Joseph; Stuart, Andrew.

In: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Vol. 53, No. 4, 01.08.2010, p. 908-911.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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