Report on the 1997 Leadership Conference in Tucson At the 1997 Leadership Conference, affiliates of Special Interest Division 4 considered a number of issues that bear on stuttering treatment outcome. Guided by Lee Sechrest, the group noted that stuttering outcomes might be measured by efficacy studies or by effectiveness studies. In the first case, clinicians discover whether ... SIG News
SIG News  |   January 01, 1998
Report on the 1997 Leadership Conference in Tucson
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nan Bernstein Ratner
    University of Maryland-College Park
  • Bob Quesal
    Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL
Article Information
Fluency Disorders / SIG News
SIG News   |   January 01, 1998
Report on the 1997 Leadership Conference in Tucson
SIG 4 Perspectives on Fluency and Fluency Disorders, January 1998, Vol. 8, 6-7. doi:10.1044/ffd8.1.6
SIG 4 Perspectives on Fluency and Fluency Disorders, January 1998, Vol. 8, 6-7. doi:10.1044/ffd8.1.6
At the 1997 Leadership Conference, affiliates of Special Interest Division 4 considered a number of issues that bear on stuttering treatment outcome. Guided by Lee Sechrest, the group noted that stuttering outcomes might be measured by efficacy studies or by effectiveness studies. In the first case, clinicians discover whether treatments have their intended outcomes under optimal circumstances (such as might occur during a carefully controlled clinical trial). In effectiveness studies, one measures whether stuttering treatments achieve their intended effects under ordinary circumstances.
A number of issues relate to the outcomes of any therapeutic process. First, we need to ascertain whether a therapy approach achieves its behavioral goals. This is a primary goal of the ASHA FACs being developed for the spectrum of communicative disorders and their treatment. However, providers, clients, and third-party payers often have other concerns about outcomes. For example, one may be concerned that the functional status of the individual undergoes change: that they are able to achieve functional performance in aspects of their lives that previously were denied them. Less easily measured, but no less important, is “quality of life,” a concept for which epidemiologists are now beginning to develop procedures to measure objectively (as in “quality-adjusted life years”). Finally, both society and the individual increasingly weigh the cost (financial charges and/or time expended) of any treatment against its benefits. The individual, society, and third-party payers for therapeutic services may weight these costs and benefits differently. In any event, it is imperative that providers of stuttering therapy establish tangible and measurable desired outcomes for their services. The establishment of such outcomes allows individual providers and clients to gauge whether a particular therapeutic regimen achieves its goals and, if so, whether it does so in a cost- or time-effective manner. Desired therapeutic outcomes for stuttering services should include those valued by clients, by service providers, by society, and by third-party payers.
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