The Satisfaction with Communication in Everyday Speaking Situations (SCESS) scale: An overarching outcome measure of treatment effect

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Journal Article
Journal of Fluency Disorders, 2018, 58 pp. 77 - 85
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© 2018 Elsevier Inc. Purpose: The Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) statement strongly suggests one primary outcome for clinical trials, yet the outcomes of stuttering treatments span numerous behavioral and psychosocial domains. That presents a roadblock to eventual meta-analysis of clinical trials for adults who stutter. Method: We propose a simple and convenient outcome measure for clinical trials of stuttering treatment for adults that spans whatever behavioral and psychosocial factors might impel clients to seek treatment: a nine-point scale of Satisfaction with Communication in Everyday Speaking Situations (SCESS). The scale consists of one question which is simple, brief, easy to administer, cost-free, and translatable into many languages. The present report develops the SCESS scale by determining its reliability, content validity, and construct validity. Results: Reliability, content validity, and construct validity of the SCESS were confirmed with statistically significant and substantive correlations with speech-related and anxiety-related measures. However, the SCESS did not correlate well with percentage syllables stuttered. Three behavioral and psychosocial measures had the highest correlation with the SCESS: total Overall Assessment of the Speaker's Experience of Stuttering, self-reported stuttering severity, and Unhelpful Thoughts and Beliefs about Stuttering. Conclusion: The SCESS measure has potential to be applied as an overarching clinical trial outcome measure of stuttering treatment effect. This study provides some preliminary evidence for including it as a primary or secondary outcome in clinical trials of adult stuttering treatments. However, further studies are needed to establish the SCESS responsiveness to different stuttering treatments.
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