Overall Assessment of the Speaker's Experience of Stuttering
Overview: A measure of the effect of stuttering on a person’s life.
Other Languages: Spanish (Ages 18 form only)
RTI Tiers: RTI Levels 2 and 3
20 minutes or less
Scores/Interpretation: Impact Scores and Impact Ratings for four sections (General Information, Your Reactions to Stuttering, Communication in Daily Situations, and Quality of Life) and Overall Score
Hand scoring (5 minutes or less), mail-in scoring, and Q Local™ software (Ages 18+ form only)
Publication Date: 2010
With fewer items and age-appropriate modifications, the record forms for ages 7-12 and 13-17 provide deeper insight into the impact of stuttering on a young person than traditional fluency assessment. New data collected from January through June 2010 support the criterion-referenced scores for each form.
The OASES assessment uniquely measures the impact of stuttering on a person’s life—unlike most other stuttering instruments, which focus mainly on the frequency and type of stuttering events. This brief, yet comprehensive self-report is built on a solid theoretical foundation to help you assess the impact of stuttering in multiple life situations. Use this evidence-based tool to support effective intervention.
Kit Ordering Hint
Uses & Applications
- Part of an initial diagnostic evaluation
- Interview tool during intervention
- Collaborative treatment planning tool with your client
- Outcome measure
- Progress monitoring tool to evaluate treatment strategies
Content & Administration
Each question is scored on a Likert scale from 1–5. Responses are totaled into Impact Scores and Impact Ratings (Mild through Severe) for each of the four sections:
- General Information
- Your Reactions to Stuttering
- Communication in Daily Situations
- Quality of Life
There also is an overall score.
Features & Benefits
- Provides a quick and easy self-assessment that adds to a comprehensive evaluation
- Enables insight beyond a numerical stuttering severity rating
- Helps you better understand the complexity of a stuttering condition
- Allows you to evaluate the speaker’s perceptions about stuttering behaviors, the speaker’s reactions to stuttering, and difficulties he or she may have in performing daily activities that involve communication
- Offers the first published measure designed to examine functional communication difficulties and quality of life for those who stutter
- Promotes self-awareness for a person who stutters of how the condition affects different areas of his or her life, including school, work, home, and social settings
- Based on the author‘s adaptation of the World Health Organization’s original ICIDH and current ICF frameworks
- Developed using a varied sample of individuals who stutter, ages 7:0–78:11
- Produces a descriptive Impact Rating
- Scores are not age- or ability-based, since stuttering is not an age- or ability-specific communication disorder
Use one of these convenient scoring options:
- Traditional paper-based administration and scoring (all forms): Buy the hand-scoring starter kit and administer and score as you typically do.
- Q Local™ software (Ages 18 form only): Purchase an annual license to the Q Local software for computer-based administration, scoring, and reporting—the first year is free! Then, buy a Q Local starter kit to try out the program.
- Mail-in scoring services (Ages 18 form only): Don’t have time to score and write a report? Buy the mail-in starter kit with simplified, scannable answer sheets. Administer to your client on paper and then send the answer sheet to us—we’ll do the scoring and send it to you complete with a written report promptly!
Frequently asked questions follow. Click on a question to see the response.
What is the OASES for?
The OASES is designed to provide a comprehensive assessment of the stuttering disorder from the speaker’s perspective. It gives clinicians meaningful insights into the client’s experiences that can be used in the diagnostic process, for treatment planning, and in outcomes assessment. The OASES is available in three versions: OASES-S for School-Age Children, ages 7-12; OASES-T for Teenagers, ages 13-17; or OASES-A for adults, ages 18 and up.
What information does the OASES give me?
The OASES gives clinicians an impact rating and impact score, which reflect the degree of adverse impact a speaker experiences as a result of stuttering. This impact score combines information about (a) the speaker’s perceptions about his or her stuttering; (b) the negative affective (feelings), behavioral (actions), and cognitive (thoughts) reactions that a speaker may have toward stuttering; (c) the functional communication difficulties a speaker may have in different speaking environments; and (d) the impact of stuttering on the speaker’s overall quality of life. The OASES is the only published quality of life tool that specifically examines this construct in people who stutter. It is also the only tool that gives a measure that can be used to establish the existence of adverse impact when qualifying a child who stutters for therapy in a school setting.
How long does it take to administer the OASES?
Regardless of the version (OASES-S, OASES-T, or OASES-A), the OASES typically takes 15 to 20 minutes for speakers complete. Handscoring involves a relatively simple process of averaging the speaker’s responses and requires approximately 5 minutes.
When do I use the OASES?
Clinicians can use the OASES:
- during a diagnostic evaluation process to establish the degree of negative impact a speaker experiences as a result of stuttering;
- to review responses on individual items while preparing their treatment goals;
- to review results with the client during treatment and collaboratively identify areas for intervention; and
- as a progress monitoring tool during or after the treatment process to track progress and evaluate treatment efficacy.
For which professional groups is the OASES designed?
The OASES can be used by speech-language pathologists and others (e.g., psychologists) who work with individuals who stutter.
How was the OASES developed?
The OASES was developed through a detailed process that involved input from people who stutter, speech-language pathologists who specialize in stuttering, and members of the stuttering self-help community (e.g., parents and teachers). An initial set of questions was identified through focus group discussions and expert review panels. These questions were then tested through several pilot studies, each of which resulted in refinements to the wording of the questions, the terms used in the descriptions, and the scoring procedures. The OASES-A for adults was developed first, and reliability and validity were established through a study published in a major scholarly journal. The tool was then adapted for the needs of school-age children (OASES-S) and teens (OASES-T). In each case, pilot data were carefully scrutinized to ensure readability, reliability, and validity for assessing key aspects of the speaker’s experience of stuttering.
How do I interpret the findings of the OASES?
The OASES yields a score on a 5-point scale that indicates the amount of adverse impact a person experiences due to stuttering. Higher scores indicate higher levels of negative impact. The record forms reflect the ranges of mild, mild-to-moderate, moderate, moderate-to-severe, and severe adverse impact. Scores can be interpreted for the test as a whole and for each of four sections separately. Clinicians can also examine a speaker’s response for each item individually to identify specific challenges to address in therapy. The manual includes a detailed set of interpretation guides, which help clinicians compare their clients’ experiences to patterns commonly seen in the experiences of other people who stutter.
How will the OASES help me in my daily work with people who stutter?
Many clinicians report that they are not certain where to start when working with people who stutter. The detailed results from the OASES can provided exactly that starting point by highlighting for clinicians (and for speakers) what aspects of life are most affected by stuttering. For example, responses on the OASES can indicate whether a speaker would benefit from therapy for reducing negative reactions to stuttering, or whether stuttering is causing the speaker to avoid words or speaking situations. Results can also reveal which types of situations are hardest for speakers and provide insights into how those difficulties can be overcome. Clinicians who use the OASES routinely use their clients’ responses to individual test items as a starting place for discussions about sensitive topics in therapy that they might otherwise have difficulty bringing up. For this reason, the OASES is a tool that can be used throughout therapy—not just during the evaluation, but on a daily basis to help guide the client through the process of identifying goals for therapy and assessing whether positive changes have occurred.
How does the OASES compare to the SSI?
The Stuttering Severity Instrument (SSI; Riley, 2008) is a widely used assessment that allows clinicians to rate their perceptions of a client’s observable stuttering behaviors. It provides a rating of surface severity, which accounts for the frequency of stuttering, the average duration of individual moments of stuttering, and the visible characteristics of a person’s stuttering (e.g., eye blinks and other so-called secondary characteristics). The OASES differs from the SSI in that the OASES is designed to provide information about the speaker’s experience of stuttering, not the listener’s or clinician’s experience. Thus, the OASES provides insights into what people who stutter think or feel about their stuttering, how much difficulty they have when communicating in key situations, and the degree to which stuttering affects their lives as a whole. The two tests, the SSI and OASES, can be used in conjunction with one another to provide clinicians with a more complete picture of the impact of stuttering. Because it gathers information about communication and daily life, the OASES provides information that clinicians can use in planning treatment that goes well beyond the information available through typical severity ratings.