Banter Research Review 1: Stuttering Relapse – Video Self-Modelling vs Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

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As we’ve said before, speech restructuring techniques like the Camperdown Program are effective, evidence-based interventions for adults who stutter (O’Brian et al., 2003).  But around one-third of adults treated with speech restructuring relapse within 6-12 months (Onslow et al., 1996).

Video self-modelling (VSM) and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) are relapse treatments for adults who stutter (Cream et al., 2009; Blood, 1995).  VSM involves people who stutter viewing video images of themselves free of stuttering.  CBT involves cognitive restructuring, behavioural experiments and attentional training, often from psychologists, to assist adults who stutter to eliminate or reduce their social anxiety.

But which is more effective in reducing stuttering?

In late 2013, we conducted a review of the research and concluded that, based on the best evidence:

  • VSM is more effective than CBT in reducing mean stuttering frequencies for adults who have been treated for stuttering with speech restructuring such as the Camperdown Program but have relapsed;
  • CBT has the potential to prevent relapse for adults who stutter and also have social anxiety disorder;
  • no study has yet compared the two treatments directly.  Given adults who stutter are a very diverse group of people, it is unlikely that either treatment will be more effective for all clients; and
  • more research is needed to explain the relationship(s) between stuttering severity, anxiety levels, therapy compliance rates and relapse risk before one treatment can be recommended over the other in all cases.

If you would like more detail or technical information on the research cited below, please contact us and we will send you our research review.


Related articles:

Key References:

  1. Amster, B.J., & Klein, E.R. (2008). Perfectionism in People Who Stutter: Preliminary Findings using a Modified Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Approach. Behavioral and Cognitive Psychotherapy, 36, 35-40.
  2. Blood, G.W. (1995). A behavioural cognitive therapy program for adults who stutter: computers and counselling. Journal of Communication Disorders, 28, 165-80.
  3. Craig, A. (1998). Relapse following treatment for stuttering: a critical review and correlative data. Journal of Fluency Disorders, 23, 1-30.
  4. Cream, A., O’Brian, S., Onslow, M., Packman, A., & Menzies, E. (2009). Self-modelling as a relapse intervention following speech-restructuring treatment for stuttering. International Journal of Language Communication Disorders, 44(5), 587-599.
  5. Menzies, R.G., O’Brian, S., Onslow, M., Packman, A., St Clare, T., & Block, S. (2008). An Experimental Clinical Trial of a Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Chronic Stuttering. Journal of Speech, Language,and Hearing Research, 51(6), 1451-1464.
  6. O’Brian, S., Onslow, M., Cream, A., & Packman, A. (2003). The Camperdown Program: outcomes of a new prolonged-speech treatment model. Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research, 46, 933-946.
  7. Onslow, M., Costa, L., Andrews, C., Harrison, E., and Packman, A., (1996). Speech outcomes of a prolonged-speech treatment for stuttering. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 39, 734-749.
Man wearing glasses and a suit, standing in front of a bay

Hi there, I’m David Kinnane.

Principal Speech Pathologist, Banter Speech & Language

Our talented team of certified practising speech pathologists provide unhurried, personalised and evidence-based speech pathology care to children and adults in the Inner West of Sydney and beyond, both in our clinic and via telehealth.

David Kinnane
Speech-Language Pathologist. Lawyer. Father. Reader. Writer. Speaker.

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