Ethical and Clinical Implications of Pseudostuttering Purpose: Pseudostuttering is a form of disability simulation that often id used in fluency disorders courses to create empathy for people who stutter. The purpose of this study was to examine the ethical implications of pseudostuttering and to determine whether extending the duration of pseudostuttering activities is more beneficial for ... Article
Article  |   November 01, 2010
Ethical and Clinical Implications of Pseudostuttering
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Stephanie Hughes
    Governors State University, University Park, IL
Article Information
Fluency Disorders / Professional Issues & Training / Articles
Article   |   November 01, 2010
Ethical and Clinical Implications of Pseudostuttering
SIG 4 Perspectives on Fluency and Fluency Disorders, November 2010, Vol. 20, 84-96. doi:10.1044/ffd20.3.84
SIG 4 Perspectives on Fluency and Fluency Disorders, November 2010, Vol. 20, 84-96. doi:10.1044/ffd20.3.84

Purpose: Pseudostuttering is a form of disability simulation that often id used in fluency disorders courses to create empathy for people who stutter. The purpose of this study was to examine the ethical implications of pseudostuttering and to determine whether extending the duration of pseudostuttering activities is more beneficial for students’ clinical education.

Method: Twenty students in a graduate fluency disorders course engaged in public pseudostuttering for 6 weeks. Each student completed 30 pseudostuttering experiences during the experiment. Data were gathered in the form of quantitative checklists and open-ended journal entries. Descriptive and Chi-square statistics were used to identify how students’ thoughts, emotions, and behaviors changed on a weekly basis. Thematic analysis of journal entries was also conducted.

Results: Anxiety ratings decreased for every additional week of pseudostuttering. Decreased emotionality, increased clinical insights, and more willingness to pseudostutter in increasingly challenging contexts were considered benefits of extended pseudostuttering practice.

Conclusions: More opportunities to practice pseudostuttering appear to correspond with increased benefits for fluency disorders students. While any disability simulation is prone to criticism on the grounds that it lacks realism, instructors of fluency disorders courses can create more ethical and clinically relevant learning opportunities by asking students to pseudostutter repeatedly.

Acknowledgment
The author wishes to thank Lindsey Good for her review of the qualitative data and for helping to ensure the validity of the study’s results and conclusions.
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