An investigation into the personal financial costs associated with stuttering

Elaine Blumgart, Yvonne Tran, Ashley Craig*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Stuttering has been found to deteriorate quality of life in psychological, emotional and social functioning domains. It is reasonable to assume then that stuttering would also be associated with economic consequences that may also challenge quality of life. Remarkably, the personal financial costs associated with stuttering in adults has rarely if ever been explored or investigated in the fluency disorders field. This study involved an assessment of the personal costs of stuttering and an investigation into determinants that may influence spending. Two hundred adults who stutter participated in this study. Findings indicated that the average total cost was around $5,500 (median cost $4,165) in 2007/08 Australian dollars over a 5-year period. Major financial items included costs of direct and indirect treatments for stuttering, self-help, stuttering related conferences, and technology. Financial costs were not significantly influenced by the sex of the person, annual income, or by how severe the person stuttered. However, those individuals younger than 60 years old spent significantly more on treatment related costs, while those with elevated levels of social anxiety spent significantly less than those with lower levels of social anxiety. Quality of life implications associated with stuttering are discussed. Educational objectives: The reader will be able to: (a) describe the method for assessing the direct financial costs of stuttering over a 5-year period; (b) describe the financial personal cost of stuttering for adults who stutter; (c) describe the relationship between factors like sex, age, severity of stuttering and financial costs; and (d) describe the relationship between social anxiety and the financial cost of stuttering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-215
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Fluency Disorders
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Direct costs
  • Fluency disorder
  • Quality of life
  • Social anxiety
  • Stuttering

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