Research collaboration

Assessing the long-term effectiveness of our Online Course

It is in the nature of stammering that its symptoms can be relieved in the short-term by almost any form of therapy. As often than not, however, after an initial ‘honeymoon’ period, the initial gains that clients have made gradually disappear, ultimately leaving them little or no better off than before they started.

We believe that in order for therapy to be reliably effective in the long term, clients need to have a clear understanding of how and why the techniques they are asked to practice should work, and they need to know how they can be adapted to the various situations they will encounter in their everyday life. Furthermore, to be reliable, the techniques need to continue to work irrespective of whether or not clients have faith in them.

The only way of determining whether or not this is the case, is by continuing to monitor clients’ progress over an extended period of time after whatever therapy they have undertaken has ended. Unfortunately, to date, very few therapeutic programmes have ever done this. As a result there is very little reliable evidence to indicate which forms of clinical intervention for stammering are effective in the long term and which are not.

The continuing lack of reliable evidence of the effectiveness of speech therapy interventions for stammering has contributed to the failure of health services worldwide to provide adequate funding for such therapy.—Instead, other conditions are prioritised for which there is reliable evidence that therapy does provide lasting benefits. We want to help change this unsatisfactory state of affairs. But to do so, we need as many of our clients as possible to cooperate in our ongoing assessment of the effectiveness of the therapy they have undertaken. By cooperating with such research you can help provide the data that is needed in order to ensure that, for future generations, effective therapy for stammerers becomes properly funded and freely available.