RESEARCH ARTICLE


Delphi Survey of Items for the Test of Stuttering Screening in Children (TSSC)



Aiswarya Liz Varghese1, Radish Kumar Balasubramanium1, *, Gagan Bajaj1, Sudhin Karuppali1, Unnikrishnan Bhaskaran2
1 Department of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India


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Creative Commons License
© 2023 Varghese et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology, Kasturba Medical College, Mangalore, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Karnataka, India; Tel: +916361212929; Email: radheesh.slp@manipal.edu


Abstract

Purpose:

Stuttering is a fluency disorder that mostly begins in childhood and affects many people in our societies. No standardized screening tools are available to check for stuttering in the Indian school-going population. Thus, the study aimed at developing a screening tool to identify children who stutter among the school-going population using a Delphi-based approach.

Methods:

This study was carried out in four phases. During the first phase, five Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) were asked about the need for screening and the nature & attributes of a stuttering screening test for school-going children. The second phase involved constructing appropriate stimuli for the screening tool based on expert opinion, relevant literature and students’ academic textbooks. The third phase involved content validation of the speech elicitation stimuli by four teachers, five SLPs and an English Lecturer teaching in a university. The fourth phase encompassed the development of differential diagnosis criteria for stuttering identification in children using a rank analysis of the expert opinions.

Results:

A stuttering screening stimuli comprising age, language and culture-specific reading, picture description and narration tasks for 1st to 10th-standard students was developed. The contents of the tool obtained satisfactory consensus of agreement among the panel of experts. Further, the tool outlined five critical diagnostic criteria which could differentially diagnose school-going children with stuttering from typically speaking counterparts using the developed material.

Conclusion:

The developed screening tool could help practicing clinicians quickly identify stuttering in school-going populations. This would enable early identification and build up the statistical data to estimate the prevalence of stuttering among the school-going population. Further studies examining the psychometric properties of the developed test are in progress.

Keywords: Stuttering, Screening, Delphi survey, School going children, Test, SLPs.