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J Fluency Disord. 2009 Jun;34(2):61-71. doi: 10.1016/j.jfludis.2009.05.002. Epub 2009 May 14.

The impact of stuttering on the quality of life in adults who stutter.

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Rehabilitation Studies Unit, Northern Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, The University of Sydney, PO Box 6, Ryde, NSW 1680, Australia.


Stuttering is an involuntary fluency disorder that is not uncommon in society. However, the impact of stuttering on a composite measure such as quality of life has rarely been estimated. Quality of life (QOL) assesses the well-being of a person from a multidimensional perspective, and valid and reliable general QOL measures are available that can be used to estimate the impact of stuttering on QOL. This study involved the use of a general measure of QOL called the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 (SF-36) in order to assess the impact of stuttering in 200 adults who stutter (AWS). Comparisons to 200 adults of similar age and sex ratio who do not stutter were made so that the unique contribution of stuttering on QOL could be estimated. Findings indicated that stuttering does negatively impact QOL in the vitality, social functioning, emotional functioning and mental health status domains. Results also tentatively suggest that people who stutter with increased levels of severity may have a higher risk of poor emotional functioning. These findings have implications for treatment such as the necessity to address the emotional and psychological aspects of QOL in AWS and the need for additional clinical resources to be invested in stuttering treatment.


The reader will be able to: (a) summarize the method used in quality of life assessment using the SF-36; (b) describe the impact of stuttering on the quality of life of adults who stutter; (c) compare the impact of stuttering to the quality of life of adults who do not stutter; (d) describe the relationship between frequency of stuttering and quality of life.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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