Speaker and Observer Perceptions of Physical Tension during Stuttering

Speech-language pathologists routinely assess physical tension during evaluation of those who stutter. If speakers experience tension that is not visible to clinicians, then judgments of severity may be inaccurate. This study addressed this potential discrepancy by comparing judgments of tension by people who stutter and expert clinicians to determine if clinicians could accurately identify the speakers’ experience of physical tension. The degree of tension reported by speakers was higher than that observed by specialists. Tension in parts of the body that were less visible to the observer (chest, abdomen, throat) was reported more by speakers than by specialists. The thematic analysis revealed that speakers’ experience of tension changes over time and that these changes may be related to speakers’ acceptance of stuttering. The lack of agreement between speaker and specialist perceptions of tension suggests that using self-reports is a necessary component for supporting the accurate diagnosis of tension in stuttering. #stuttering

Tichenor, S., Leslie, P., Shaiman, S., and Yaruss, J.S. (2017). Speaker and Observer Perceptions of Physical Tension during
Stuttering. Folio Phoniatrica et Logopaedica, 69, 180-189
https://doi.org/10.1159/000486032

[stuttering, tension perception]

http://rickywburk.org
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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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