The Camperdown Program is an evidence-based treatment for people who stutter, developed by the Australian Stuttering Research Centre at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.
It is a speech restructuring program that includes prolonged-speech-type procedures. Speech restructuring is a style of treatment for which the best clinical trials exist. It is the use of a new speech pattern to reduce or eliminate stuttering while sounding as natural as possible. It is well documented that adults can control stuttering if they use prolonged speech (Georgieva D, 2018). These speech patterns were refined in the 1960s and developed into behavioural treatment programmes like the Camperdown Program.
The Camperdown Program is an instruction-free method, which makes it easy to learn. The person who stutters follows a model and develops their own technique. The main aim of the program is to reduce stuttering in everyday speech situations (i.e. not just in the clinic). It also helps clients develop the skills to self-manage their stuttering over time and to reduce the risk of relapse.
The program is composed of four stages:
- Client training to use the speech pattern and to self-rate the severity of their stuttering and the naturalness of their speech.
- Training in the clinic to attain stutter-free, natural sounding speech.
- Training to use the new technique in the real world.
- Problem-solving skills training to manage stuttering and to minimise the risk of relapse.
To date, the Camperdown Program has been tested clinically on over 100 participants in 8 published clinical trials. It’s been tested on adults and teenagers, in intensive and non-intensive formats, and via the phone and webcam (Skype). The Camperdown Program significantly reduces stuttering within 20 therapy sessions even when delivered by student Speech & Language Therapists (Cocomazzo N, et al 2012) and is as or even more effective in face to face sessions as via telehealth (Carey B, et al 2010), (O'Brian S, et al 2008).
- Georgieva D, Stoilova R. (2018). A clinical training model for students: intensive treatment of stuttering using prolonged speech. CoDAS;30(5):e20170259. doi: 10.1590/2317-1782/20182017259.
- Cocomazzo N, Block S, Carey B, O'Brian S, Onslow M, Jones M, Packman A, Iverach L (2012). Camperdown Program for adults who stutter: a student clinic Phase I trial. Int J Lang Commun Disord.47(4): 365-372
- Carey B, O'Brian S, Onslow M, Block S, Jones M, Packman A (2010). Randomized controlled non-inferiority trial of a telehealth treatment for chronic stuttering: the Camperdown Program. Int J Lang Commun Disord.; 45(1):108-20. doi: 10.3109/13682820902763944. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19424889
- O'Brian S, Packman A, Onslow M (2008). Telehealth delivery of the Camperdown Program for adults who stutter: a phase I trial. J Speech Lang Hear Res. 51(1):184-95. doi: 10.1044/1092-4388(2008/014). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18230865