Clinician percent syllables stuttered, clinician severity ratings and speaker severity ratings: are they interchangeable?

Karimi, Hamid, Jones, Mark, O'Brian, Sue and Onslow, Mark (2013) Clinician percent syllables stuttered, clinician severity ratings and speaker severity ratings: are they interchangeable?. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 49 3: 364-368. doi:10.1111/1460-6984.12069

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Author Karimi, Hamid
Jones, Mark
O'Brian, Sue
Onslow, Mark
Title Clinician percent syllables stuttered, clinician severity ratings and speaker severity ratings: are they interchangeable?
Journal name International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1368-2822
1460-6984
Publication date 2013-12-04
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/1460-6984.12069
Volume 49
Issue 3
Start page 364
End page 368
Total pages 5
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background At present, percent syllables stuttered (%SS) is the gold standard outcome measure for behavioural stuttering treatment research. However, ordinal severity rating (SR) procedures have some inherent advantages over that method.

Aims To establish the relationship between Clinician %SS, Clinician SR and self-reported Speaker SR. To investigate whether Clinician SRs and Speaker SRs can be used interchangeably.

Method & Procedures Participants were three experienced speech–language pathologist (SLP) judges and 87 adults who stuttered. Adults who stuttered received a 10-min unscheduled telephone call at the conclusion of which they self-reported a SR using a nine-point scale. The SLPs measured the stuttering for these conversations with %SS and also with the SR scale. The mean scores for Clinician %SS and Clinician SR were compared with Speaker SR using appropriate indices of relative and absolute reliability. Relative reliability indices deal with the rank order of participants in a sample and whether they can be distinguished from each other. However, absolute reliability indices are related to the closeness of the measurement scores to each other and to a hypothetical true score.

Outcomes & Results Strong correlations were found between Clinician %SS and Clinician SR, and also between Clinician %SS and Speaker SR, although with higher values in the former case. Additionally, very high correlations showed acceptable relative reliability between Clinician SR and Speaker SR. However, absolute reliability in terms of standard error of measurement and limits of agreement was poor for Clinician SR and Speaker SR.

Conclusions & Implications The results suggest that Clinician SR and Speaker SR cannot be used interchangeably to measure temporal stuttering severity changes for an individual client. However, researchers might use these two measures interchangeably in research contexts, such as clinical trials, where changes of the entire group are of interest to determine and compare treatment effect size across trials.

What this paper adds?
What is already known on this subject?
Percent syllables stuttered is the gold standard outcome measure for behavioural stuttering treatment research. However, ordinal severity rating procedures have some inherent advantages over that method. High correlation has been reported between Clinician %SS and Speaker SR and also between Clinician SR and Speaker SR, suggesting that these measures might be used interchangeably.
What this paper adds?
The results suggest that clinicians cannot use Clinician SR and Speaker SR interchangeably to measure temporal stuttering severity changes for an individual client. It is not appropriate to use them interchangeably to assess absolute differences within a trial. However, researchers might use them interchangeably to determine treatment effect size across trials.
Keyword Stuttering
Outcome measurement
Relative reliability
Absolute reliability
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article first published online: 4 DEC 2013

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 3 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 28 Mar 2014, 20:29:20 EST by Nyree Divitini on behalf of Health LinQ