Clinicians' management of young children with co-occurring stuttering and speech sound disorder

Rachael Unicomb*, Sally Hewat, Elizabeth Spencer, Elisabeth Harrison

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Speech sound disorders reportedly co-occur in young children who stutter at a substantial rate. Despite this, there is a paucity of scientific research available to support a treatment approach when these disorders co-exist. Similarly, little is known about how clinicians are currently working with this caseload given that best practice for the treatment of both disorders in isolation has evolved in recent years. This study used a qualitative approach to explore current clinical management and rationales when working with children who have co-occurring stuttering and speech sound disorder. Thirteen participant SLPs engaged in semi-structured telephone interviews. Interview data were analysed based on principles derived from grounded theory. Several themes were identified including multi-faceted assessment, workplace challenges, weighing-up the evidence, and direct intervention. The core theme, clinical reasoning, highlighted the participants' main concern, that not enough is known about this caseload on which to base decisions about intervention. There was consensus that little is available in the research literature to guide decisions relating to service delivery. These findings highlight the need for further research to provide evidence-based guidelines for clinical practice with this caseload.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-452
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


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