Equitable access to stuttering treatments: Developing distance and self managed treatment models [ 2006 - 2010 ]

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: Prof Mark Onslow (Principal investigator) ,  A/Pr Ross Menzies A/Pr Ann Packman

Brief description The development of normal verbal communication is of the utmost importance to human health. Stuttering is a prevalent disorder that severely interferes with communication. It can be disfiguring and typically causes speech related social anxiety. Social phobia is present in around half of adults affected. It prevents attainment of occupational potential and children who stutter are typically teased and bullied at school. For the past decade NHMRC Project funding has enabled the present team to conduct world class basic research and clinical trials in stuttering. Significant gains have resulted from that research, in particular the development of treatments across the age groups that have a significant evidence base. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that there are serious barriers to the implementation of these evidence based treatments, and innovative treatment developments are needed to address this. In particular, speech pathology services for rural and remotely located patients and their families are incompletely funded, and even in urban settings workplace restrictions have resulted in speech pathologists delivering incomplete and piecemeal treatments. The program of research will develop the following innovative treatment models to solve this problem: �Distance intervention models for the delivery of speech pathology services to rural patients and their families and others who are isolated from treatment services. �Self-managed treatment models for children and adults who stutter, including procedures to minimise the ubiquitous problem of relapse in adults. It is widely understood that social anxiety is a significant problem for many stutterers and research is urgently needed to establish the extent of social anxiety in stutterers across the age groups and its negative effects on treatment effectiveness. Thus, a further aim of this program of research is to: �Identify those patients for whom social anxiety is likely to constitute a barrier to successful treatment. �Develop supplementary interventions to meet the needs of those socially anxious patients. The cause of stuttering is unknown. Understanding the mechanisms underpinning effective behavioural treatments would contribute to understanding causal factors in stuttering. Thus, this program of research also aims to: �Establish why behavioural treatments work, thereby generating new knowledge about causal factors.

Funding Amount $AUD 4,321,062.60

Funding Scheme Programs

Notes Program Grant

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