Real Enough: Using Virtual Public Speaking Environments to Evoke Feelings and Behaviors Targeted in Stuttering Assessment and Treatment

Virtual reality environments (VREs) are computer-generated, 3-dimensional worlds that allow users to experience situations similar to those encountered in the real world. The purpose of this study was to investigate VREs for potential use in assessing and treating persons who stutter (PWS) by determining the extent to which PWS’s affective, behavioral, and cognitive measures in a VRE correlate with those same measures in a similar live environment. Correlational analyses revealed significant, positive correlations between virtual and live conditions for affective and cognitive measures as well as for frequency of stuttering. The authors suggest that these findings suggest that virtual public speaking environments engender affective, behavioral, and cognitive reactions in PWS that correspond to those experienced in the real world. The authentic, safe, and controlled environments provided by VREs may be useful for stuttering assessment and treatment.

Brundage, Shelley B. & Hancock, Adrienne B. (2015). Real Enough: Using Virtual Public Speaking Environments to Evoke Feelings and Behaviors Targeted in Stuttering Assessment and Treatment. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 24, 139-149.

About rickyWburk

Ricky W. Burk, CCC-SLP, BCS-F, is a speech-language pathologist who provides in-home therapy for adolescents and adults residing in Tennessee and Mississippi who stutter. His career includes PreK, elementary, middle, and high school practice, undergraduate & graduate faculty appointments, skilled nursing, national & international consultation, private practice, and national & international speaking presentations. He holds the American Speech-Language Hearing Association Certificate of Clinical Competence, and he is a Board Certified Specialist in Fluency Disorders. He is the ASHA Continuing Education Administrator for the National Association for Speech Fluency.
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