Original Research

Impact of the Telephone Assistive Device (TAD) on stuttering severity while speaking on the telephone

Nola Chambers
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 56, No 1 | a190 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v56i1.190 | © 2019 Nola Chambers | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 October 2016 | Published: 31 December 2009

About the author(s)

Nola Chambers, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

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There is extensive experimental evidence that altered auditory feedback (AAF) can have a clinically significant effect on the severity of speech symptoms in people who stutter. However, there is less evidence regarding whether these experimental effects can be observed in naturalistic everyday settings particularly when using the telephone. This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of the Telephone Assistive Device® (TAD), which is designed to provide AAF on the telephone to people who stutter, on reducing stuttering severity. Nine adults participated in a quasi-experimental study. Stuttering severity was measured first without and then with the device in participants’ naturalistic settings while making and receiving telephone calls (immediate benefit). Participants were then allowed a week of repeated use of the device following which all measurements were repeated (delayed benefit). Overall, results revealed significant immediate benefits from the TAD in all call conditions. Delayed benefits in received and total calls were also significant. There was sub­stantial individual variability in response to the TAD but none of the demographic or speech-related factors measured in the study were found to significantly impact the benefit (immediate or delayed) derived from the TAD. Results have implications for clinical decision making for adults who stutter.


altered auditory feedback (AAF); telephone use; adults who stutter; telephone assistive device (TAD)


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Crossref Citations

1. Stuttering inhibition via altered auditory feedback during scripted telephone conversations
Daniel Hudock, Joseph Kalinowski
International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders  vol: 49  issue: 1  first page: 139  year: 2014  
doi: 10.1111/1460-6984.12053