This thesis presents two empirical studies of the Lidcombe Program of early stuttering intervention. A retrospective file audit of the Lidcombe Program was performed in North America in order to evaluate the relationship between specific case variables and treatment time during Stage 1 (instatement of fluency). The study was a replication and extension of the file audit study by Jones et al. (2000), with the time between clinic visits being considered as an additional variable. The variables were extracted from files of 138 children younger than 6 years who had completed Stage 1 of the treatment. The results showed that the median number of clinic visits to complete Stage 1 was 11. High pre-treatment stuttering severity predicted more clinic visits. Mean interval between clinic visits of fewer than 11 days was associated with longer treatment times than mean interval of 11 days or more. The results for North America were generally consistent with benchmark data from the United Kingdom and Australia. The data from previous Australian and British studies were combined with the North American data and a meta-analysis was performed to establish worldwide clinical benchmarks. This study indicated the potential clinical significance of attendance schedule and prompted further investigation. A Phase II prospective clinical trial of different treatment schedules for the Lidcombe Program was conducted to evaluate the effects of treatment schedules during Stage 1 clinic visits, with reference to treatment efficiency and efficacy. Twenty-one children were randomly allocated into one of three Lidcombe Program treatment schedules: attendance weekly, twice weekly, or fortnightly. It was found that the median number of clinic visits to complete Stage 1 by treatment schedule was 23 for weekly attendance, 27 for twice weekly attendance and 10 for fortnightly attendance. The findings suggest that fortnightly attendance was efficient and efficacious for the children in this study. The implications for an alternative service delivery model with the Lidcombe Program are discussed.
University of Newcastle Research Higher Degree Thesis