Beliefs and behavioural intentions towards pharmacotherapy for stuttering : a survey of adults who stutter

McGroarty, Allan and McCartan, Rebecca (2018) Beliefs and behavioural intentions towards pharmacotherapy for stuttering : a survey of adults who stutter. Journal of Communication Disorders, 73. pp. 15-24. ISSN 0021-9924 (

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Purpose Although considerable efforts have been made to investigate the effectiveness of pharmacological treatments for stuttering, little is known about how the stuttering community perceives these treatments. This study aimed to assess and quantify beliefs regarding pharmacotherapy for adults who stutter and to establish whether behavioural intentions to undertake treatment were related to these beliefs. Method An adapted version of the Beliefs about Medicine Questionnaire was completed by adults who stutter. Participants also reported perceptions of their stuttering including its overall impact, ratings of previous speech therapy, and behavioural intentions to initiate pharmacotherapy and speech therapy in future. Results Necessity and concern beliefs were distributed widely across the sample and in a pattern indicating a relatively balanced perception of the benefits and costs of medication prescribed specifically for stuttering. Of the study’s measures, the necessity-concerns differential most strongly predicted the behavioural intention to initiate pharmacotherapy. The overall impact of stuttering predicted intentions to seek both pharmacotherapy and speech therapy. Participants reported the likelihood of pursuing pharmacotherapy and speech therapy in equal measure. Conclusions The theoretical model of medication representations appears to be a useful framework for understanding the beliefs of adults who stutter towards the medical treatment of their disorder. The findings of this study may be of interest to clinicians and researchers working in the field of stuttering treatment and to people who stutter considering pharmacotherapy.


McGroarty, Allan ORCID logoORCID: and McCartan, Rebecca;