Perspectives on the past and the future : clients' views on UK service provision for adult stammering

Allen, Carolyn and McGroarty, Allan and Aydin, Ayse (2014) Perspectives on the past and the future : clients' views on UK service provision for adult stammering. International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 21 (11). pp. 516-525. ISSN 1759-779X

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Background: Client opinions are appropriate contributions to the design and evaluation of health care services. Adults who stammer (AWS) have previously informed discussion regarding speech and language therapy (SLT) services; however, contemporary UK perspectives are lacking. Aim: This study aimed to identify features of helpful and unhelpful SLT services for AWS from the client and potential user perspective. Highlighting preferred components of therapy from this standpoint can help to ensure that SLT services are client-centred. Methods: An online survey was conducted using questions largely derived from UK professional guidelines of minimum best practice. Responses were subjected to quantitative and qualitative analysis. Results: Both positive and negative aspects of individual and group therapy for AWS were identified. Ideal service characteristics related to ‘therapy and therapist’ and ‘service delivery’ issues. Results were generally consistent with previous similar studies. In addition, consideration of the place of remote communication methods within therapy highlighted an appetite for such practice. Conclusions: SLT facilitated long-term benefits for the majority of respondents, but future service design could incorporate greater flexibility in the: timing of therapy; therapeutic format; choice of therapist; and use of technology. The relevance of these findings for allied health services is acknowledged.