Is there research evidence to support that the participants in our study will show significant progress and that the BeneTalk device will make a difference?

We are carrying out a clinical study with the University of Reading from January 2020, participants can read more about it here.

Is there any evidence to show that a speech restructuring method like prolonged speech works?

Speech restructuring is a style of treatment for which the best clinical trials exist. It is the use of a new speech pattern to reduce or eliminate stuttering while sounding as natural as possible. It is well documented that adults can control stuttering if they use prolonged speech 1. These speech patterns were refined in the 1960s and developed into behavioural treatment programmes like the Camperdown Program.

Is there any evidence that the Camperdown Program significantly reduced stuttering severity?

The Camperdown Program is an instruction-free method, which makes it easy to learn. The people who stutter follows a model and develops their own technique. Studies have proven that the Camperdown Program significantly reduces stuttering within 20 therapy sessions even when delivered by student Speech & Language Therapists 2 and is as or even more effective in face to face sessions as in telehealth 3, 4.

How are you going to prevent relapse?

All participants will be encouraged to use self-modelling using restructured stutter‐free speech to prevent relapse. The experimental group will be reminded and guided by BeneTalk, There is evidence that video self‐modelling is useful for managing relapse after speech‐restructuring treatment for stuttering, and in some cases may be a stand‐alone procedure to manage relapse 5.

Which outcomes measures are being used?

To measure clinical change and effectiveness we use the SSI-4 (Stuttering Severity Instrument 4), the UTBAS (Unhelpful Thoughts and Beliefs about Stuttering), the Severity Rating Score and the Speech Naturalness Score.

Which outcomes are expected when?

Stage 1 (3-5 hrs of therapy): master technique at level 7-8 with stuttering severity 1

Stage 2 (5-8 hrs of therapy): master technique at level 1-2 with stuttering severity 0-1

Stage 3 (4-6 hrs of therapy): generalise technique into everyday situations with stuttering severity 0-1. Reduction in speech related anxiety.

Stage 4 (6 months): maintaining high speech naturalness with stuttering severity 0-1

Is there any evidence that the measure used to assess social anxiety in people who stutter works?

Stuttering is frequently associated with social anxiety. The UTBAS (Unhelpful Thoughts and Beliefs about Stuttering) measures negative thoughts and beliefs associated with social anxiety in stuttering. Research has shown that the UTBAS is a valuable tool to explore the well‐documented social anxiety experienced by those who stutter 6, that the UTBAS scales could be used to screen for indicators of social phobia among adults who stutter and may prove useful in identifying negative cognitions which have the potential to impact treatment outcomes 7. Evidence shows that the brief UTBAS-6 provides a reliable and efficient means of screening the unhelpful thoughts and beliefs associated with speech-related anxiety among adults who stutter 8. Treatment of negative thoughts and beliefs alongside learning a speech technique improves treatment responsiveness and outcome 9, 10.

Is there any evidence that subjective rating scales are accurate measurements of stuttering severity?

Subjective rating scales are more reliable than %SS when quantifying individual clients’ change over time 11.

Is there any evidence supporting the premise that BeneTalk will prevent relapse after stuttering treatment?

People who stutter recover and show improvement for up to 6 months after successful treatment, though they may later relapse to various degrees, sometimes to almost pre-therapy baseline levels. Amongst other factors, relapse can result from the lack of effective rewards operating in the lives of treated persons with stuttering 12. In another study, relapse also depended on the regularity and punctuality with which participants in the recovered group practised the techniques taught in the therapy sessions. They reported that they felt responsible for maintaining acquired fluency and therefore practised techniques and used self-monitoring, self-correction strategies to sustain interest and motivation after treatment 13. In conclusion, active maintenance procedures and rewards as given by the BeneTalk device, are key to recovery.

More details about our clinical study here.

  1. Georgieva D, Stoilova R. (2018). A clinical training model for students: intensive treatment of stuttering using prolonged speech. CoDAS;30(5):e20170259. doi: 10.1590/2317-1782/20182017259.
  2. Cocomazzo N, Block S, Carey B, O'Brian S, Onslow M, Jones M, Packman A, Iverach L (2012). Camperdown Program for adults who stutter: a student clinic Phase I trial. Int J Lang Commun Disord.47(4):365-372
  3. Carey B, O'Brian S, Onslow M, Block S, Jones M, Packman A (2010). Randomized controlled non-inferiority trial of a telehealth treatment for chronic stuttering: the Camperdown Program. Int J Lang Commun Disord.;45(1):108-20. doi: 10.3109/13682820902763944.
  4. O'Brian S1, Packman A, Onslow M (2008). Telehealth delivery of the Camperdown Program for adults who stutter: a phase I trial. J Speech Lang Hear Res. 51(1):184-95. doi: 10.1044/1092-4388(2008/014).
  5. Cream A, O'Brian S, Onslow M, Packman A, Menzies R (2010). Self‐modelling as a relapse intervention following speech‐restructuring treatment for stuttering.
  6. St Clare T, Menzies R, Onslow M, Packman A, Thompson R, Block S (2010) Unhelpful thoughts and beliefs linked to social anxiety in stuttering: development of a measure.
  7. Iverach L, Menzies R, Jones M, O'Brian S, Packman A, Onslow M (2011). Further development and validation of the Unhelpful Thoughts and Beliefs About Stuttering (UTBAS) scales: relationship to anxiety and social phobia among adults who stutter.
  8. Iverach L, Heard R, Menzies R, Lowe R, O'Brian S, Packman A, Onslow M (2016). A brief version of the Unhelpful Thoughts and Beliefs About Stuttering scales: the UTBAS-6. J Speech Lang Hear Res. 59(5):964-972. doi: 10.1044/2016_JSLHR-S-15-0167.
  9. Helgadóttir F, Menzies R, Onslow M, Packman A, O’Brian S (2014). A standalone Internet cognitive behavior therapy treatment for social anxiety in adults who stutter: CBTpsych. Journal of Fluency Disorders; 41: 47–54
  10. Gunn A, Menzies R, Onslow M, O'Brian S, Packman A, Lowe R, Helgadóttir F, Jones M (2019). Phase I trial of a standalone internet social anxiety treatment for adolescents who stutter: iBroadway.
  11. Ofer Amir, Yair Shapira, Liron Mick, J. Scott Yaruss (2018). The Speech Efficiency Score (SES): A time-domain measure of speech fluency. Journal of Fluency Disorders;
  12. Ingham RJ, Finn P, Bothe AK (2005). “Roadblocks” revisited: Neural changes and recovery from stuttering. Journal of Fluency Disorders; 30: 91–107. jfludis.2005.01.004. PMid:15949540.
  13. Pravesh A, Geetha YV (2013). Factors related to Recovery and Relapse in Persons with Stuttering Following Treatment: A Preliminary Study. DCIDJ; Vol. 24, No.1; doi: 10.5463/DCID.v24i1.189