‘Does the Overall Assessment of the Speaker’s Experience of Stuttering (OASES) measure for stutterers what they would report qualitatively is important to them?’
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Research into quality of life (QoL) in the stuttering population is still in its infancy, with some debate other what should be used to assess such a complex and individual concept. The Overall Assessment of the Speaker’s Experience of Stuttering (OASES) was created in an attempt to provide a stuttering-specific QoL instrument. As well as instruments, previous studies have used qualitative interviews and found that stutters have their own individual stories to tell. This raised the question about whether the individuality of QoL can only be described and whether this is lost when translated into a measurement. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate whether the OASES measures what stutterers would qualitatively report is important to them. The OASES section five was administered to eight males who stutter between the ages of 20 – 35. Five participants consented to further participation and they were subsequently interviewed using a semi-structured schedule. Analysis of the interview data was done using thematic networks which revealed four global themes; perception versus reality, the cause of change in perceptions, the importance of relaxation and stuttering is encapsulating. These were then used to draw descriptive comparisons to the OASES item scores and impact ratings. Findings indicated that for some, the OASES was able to accurately report what stutters suggest qualitatively is important to them, although potential limitations were also highlighted. Educational objectives: The reader of this study will be able to (a) discuss the extent to which quality of life may be affected by stuttering; (b) discuss the potential difficulties associated with quality of life measurement.
B.Sc. (Hons) Speech and Language Therapy