Subjects in this study were 48 English-speaking adults (men and women) who were diagnosed with moderate or severe PDS, ranging in age from 25 to 47. The subjects were unevenly divided between gender, and randomly assigned to one of two groups: one group of 24 individuals received only FS therapy (GFS) and the remaining participants received FS therapy in conjunction with yoga (GFSY). Therapy for both groups spanned 15 weekly treatment sessions. Participants were recruited through local stuttering support groups and public advertising in the greater tri-state area (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut). All participants had received intermittent speech therapy in the past. The participants had no previous experience with yoga-based stuttering intervention. Prior to admission, the participants had to meet a number of criteria encompassing the speech motoric and the emotional/ cognitive aspects of PDS.
The assessment procedure was based on an interview, observation, a fluency evaluation, and several self-rating inventories. The first criterion established that the stuttering behavior was the participant's primary concern, and was determined through the interview. Other assessment measures used included the Achievement Motivation Test which consists of a debilitating anxiety scale, a facilitating anxiety scale, and an achievement motivation scale; the Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Scale“Revised (CAMS-R; Feldman, Hayes, Kumar, Greeson, & Laurenceau, 2007); the Modified Erickson Scale of Communication Attitudes (S-24; Andrews & Cutler, 1974); and the Overall Assessment of the Speaker's Experience of Stuttering (OASES; Yaruss & Quesal, 2006, 2010). Admission into the treatment program was contingent upon achieving a mean score on the Achievement Motivation Test (Franken et al.) Furthermore, the Stuttering Severity Instrument-Fourth Edition (SSI-4) was used to measure stuttering severity in the four areas of speech behavior: frequency, duration, physical concomitants, and naturalness of the individual's speech.
The CAMS-R is a 12-item self-report measure of mindfulness that uses a 4-point Likert-type scale to assess a person's (a) ability to regulate attention, (b) orientation to present or immediate experience, (c) awareness of experience, and (d) attitude of acceptance or nonjudgment toward experience. The total score has shown acceptable internal consistency for a brief measure (Feldman et al., 2007). The OASES is a 100-item, self-report questionnaire used to evaluate participants' perceptions of their overt stuttering behaviors, reactions to stuttering, difficulties in specific speaking situations, and quality of life (Yaruss & Quesal, 2008). It yields impact ratings for four sections and an overall score with a Likert scale of 1 (mild) to 5 (severe). The S-24 measures communication attitude. This 24-item scale distinguishes the extent to which a stuttering person's communication attitude deviates from normed attitudes. Statements require a true or false answer.
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