Purpose: A significant proportion of adults who stutter experience anxiety in social and speaking situations. The Unhelpful Thoughts and Beliefs About Stuttering (UTBAS) scales provide a comprehensive measure of the unhelpful cognitions associated with social anxiety in stuttering. However, reducing the number of UTBAS items would make it ideal as a brief screening instrument. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to develop a brief version of the full UTBAS scales.
Method: The 66-item UTBAS scales were completed by 337 adults who stutter. Item reduction was used to determine a smaller set of items that could adequately reproduce the total score for each full UTBAS scale.
Results: Item reduction resulted in the inclusion of six items for the brief UTBAS-6 scales. Decile ranges for scores on the brief UTBAS-6 provide reliable estimates of the full UTBAS scores and valuable clinical information about whether a psychological assessment is warranted.
Conclusions: The brief UTBAS-6 provides a reliable and efficient means of screening the unhelpful thoughts and beliefs associated with speech-related anxiety among adults who stutter. Referral for a psychological assessment is recommended in cases where the UTBAS total score falls in or above the fifth decile.