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Stuttering



 Using the OASES-A to illustrate how network analysis can be applied to understand the experience of stuttering


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Source:Journal of Communication Disorders
Author(s): Cynthia S.Q. Siew, Kristin M. Pelczarski, J. Scott Yaruss, Michael S. Vitevitch
PurposeNetwork science uses mathematical and computational techniques to examine how individual entities in a system, represented by nodes, interact, as represented by connections between nodes. This approach has been used by Cramer et al. (2010) to make “symptom networks” to examine various psychological disorders. In the present analysis we examined a network created from the items in the Overall Assessment of the Speaker’s Experience of Stuttering-Adult (OASES-A), a commonly used measure for evaluating adverse impact in the lives of people who stutter.MethodThe items of the OASES-A were represented as nodes in the network. Connections between nodes were placed if responses to those two items in the OASES-A had a correlation coefficient greater than ±.5. Several network analyses revealed which nodes were “important” in the network.ResultsSeveral centrally located nodes and “key players” in the network were identified. A community detection analysis found groupings of nodes that differed slightly from the subheadings of the OASES-A.ConclusionsCentrally located nodes and “key players” in the network may help clinicians prioritize treatment. The different community structure found for people who stutter suggests that the way people who stutter view stuttering may differ from the way that scientists and clinicians view stuttering. Finally, the present analyses illustrate how the network approach might be applied to other speech, language, and hearing disorders to better understand how those disorders are experienced and to provide insights for their treatment.

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