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The management of developmental stuttering: child psychiatrists? perspectives

Tümer Türkbay, Ayhan Cöngöloğlu, Müzeyyen Çiyiltepe, İbrahim Durukan, Koray Karabekiroğlu.

Objective: Stuttering is a communication disorder generally characterized by involuntary disruptions in the şow of speech. Various theories have been offered to explain developmental stuttering, but its causes are not well understood. There is no known cure for developmental stuttering, though many treatment approaches help children reduce the number of dysşuencies in their speech. There is no common consensus on approaches and attitudes of professionals towards management of developmental stuttering. This nationwide survey of child psychiatrists was conducted to assess child psychiatrists? views about management approaches to developmental stuttering.

Method: Data obtained from 38 respondents who were the child psychiatry specialists using a specific questionnaire including items formatted as multiple-choice questions and a case scenario with a hypothetical frame. Descriptive analysis was applied to the data.

Results: Of the child psychiatrists, 43.3% agreed that early developmental stuttering should be ignored. 65.7% of them preferred at least initially, a ?wait and see? strategy. An appreciable majority of the child psychiatrists were in favor of the indirect therapy, which is aimed primarily at the parents. Sedative antihistamines and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors were preferred frequently used as first-choice drug class (36.8% and 34.2%, respectively) while risperidone was prescribed as a first-choice drug by 15.8 percent. Most of the child psychiatrists were not familiar with anti-stuttering devices, and alternative medicine was considered as non-effective and not helpful.

Discussion: Child psychiatrists show a heterogeneous picture regarding their views on therapeutic approaches in developmental stuttering. Child psychiatrists in Turkey prefer more conservative approaches. It is important that child psychiatrists work in extensive collaboration with speech pathologists for treating developmental stuttering.

Key words: Developmental stuttering, child psychiatrist, therapeutic approaches, beliefs

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