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OASES: Overall Assessment of the Speaker's Experience of Stuttering

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The Overall Assessment of the Speaker’s Experience of Stuttering (OASES) measures the impact of stuttering on a person’s life. 

This easy-to-use instrument is designed to be used throughout the diagnostic and treatment process to show how stuttering affects your clients. The OASES is also valuable for research evaluating treatment outcomes. 

Unlike other instruments, which focus mainly on the observable stuttering events, this brief, yet comprehensive self-report measure allows you to assess the impact of stuttering in multiple life situations. The evidence-based OASES, which is founded upon a solid theoretical framework, supports your clinical decision-making for providing diagnoses, qualifying individuals for therapy, justifying third-party payment, documenting change in therapy, and evaluating treatment efficacy.

OASES Components (click titles to order)

The OASES Technical/Scoring Manual ($50 print / $56 electronic) provides detailed instructions for administering, scoring, and interpreting the OASES. This includes numerous "interpretive summaries" that explain how OASES scores relate to the experiences of those who stutter. All OASES users should have a manual in order to ensure accurate scoring and to support report-writing and documentation.

The OASES record forms are available for 3 age groups: 

  • OASES-A (Adult) for individuals ages 18 and above
  • OASES-T (Teenage) for teenages ages 13-17
  • OASES-S (School-Age) for children ages 7-12

Each is available in printed format for $40 for a pack of 25 record forms and in electronic format for $46 for 25 prints.

International Electronic Versions

The OASES has been validated for use in numerous languages and countries. These international versions and translations are available in electronic format to minimize shipping costs. Follow the links below to order translations and OASES products for international use.

OASES Details

Uses & Applications

  • Gather valuable background data during assessment to support treatment recommendations and justify intervention.
  • Build the therapeutic alliance by discussing items and scores with clients throughout treatment.
  • Document progress and make data-based treatment decisions through ongoing assessment and planning.
  • Assess outcomes during and after treatment to evaluate efficacy and recommend appropriate follow-up.
  • Evaluate changes that occur due to treatment in efficacy studies.

Content & Administration

Each question is scored on a 5-point Likert scale. Responses are totaled into Impact Scores and Impact Ratings (Mild through Severe). Scoring can be completed for the entire test, as well as for each of the four sections individually. These sections examine:

  • General Information
  • Reactions to Stuttering
  • Communication in Daily Situations
  • Quality of Life

Features & Benefits

  • Provides a quick and easy self-assessment that forms the foundation of a comprehensive evaluation
  • Enables insights beyond observable stuttering severity ratings
  • Helps clinicians and clients understand the complexity of stuttering
  • Offers information about the speaker’s perceptions about stuttering, the speaker’s reactions to stuttering, and challenges in performing daily activities that involve communication
  • Examines functional communication difficulties and quality of life from the perspective of those who stutter
  • Promotes self-awareness of how stuttering affects different areas of life, including school, work, home, and social settings
  • Provides useful information that researchers can use for evaluating the efficacy of stuttering treatment

Psychometric Data and Validation

  • Based on an adaptation of the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (Yaruss & Quesal, 2004)
  • Validated through samples of hundreds of people who stutter drawn from around the world
  • Supported by numerous peer-reviewed empirical studies 
  • Criterion-referenced; provides both a numerical score and descriptive impact rating 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the OASES for? The OASES provides a comprehensive assessment of the stuttering disorder from the speaker’s perspective. It gives clinicians and researchers meaningful insights into the client’s experiences that can be used in the diagnostic process, for treatment planning, and in outcomes assessment. 

What information does the OASES give me? The OASES gives clinicians and researchers an impact rating and impact score, which reflect the degree of adverse impact a speaker experiences as a result of stuttering. The impact score combines information about (a) the speaker’s perceptions about stuttering; (b) the negative affective (feelings), behavioral (actions), and cognitive (thoughts) reactions that the speaker 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 tool that specifically examines Quality of Life in people who stutter. It is also the only tool that establishes 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. Scoring requires only 5 minutes.

When do I use the OASES? Clinicians and researchers can use the OASES:

  • during a diagnostic evaluation to establish the degree of negative impact a speaker experiences as a result of stuttering
  • to review responses on individual items while preparing treatment goals
  • to explore key topics with the client during treatment and collaboratively identify areas for intervention
  • as a progress monitoring tool during or after treatment to track progress and evaluate treatment efficacy
  • to compare a standard set of outcomes from different approaches to treatment

Who can use the OASES? The OASES can be used by speech-language pathologists, research scientists, and others (e.g., psychologists) who work or study with individuals who stutter.

How was the OASES developed? The OASES was developed through an iterative process that involved input from people who stutter, speech-language pathologists who specialize in stuttering, members of the stuttering community, and others who interact with children and adults who stutter (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 the Journal of Fluency Disorders (Yaruss & Quesal, 2006). 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 OASES findings? 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. Impact ratings reflect 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  individual items 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 can be used both during the evaluation and on a daily basis in therapy to support the client in identifying goals for therapy and assessing whether positive changes have occurred. The OASES differs from the Stuttering Severity Instrument (Riley, 2009) and other measures of stuttering behavior in that the OASES provides 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 experience in key situations, and the degree to which stuttering affects their lives as a whole. The SSI (or other measure of surface stuttering behaviors) and the OASES can be used together to provide a more complete picture of the impact of stuttering. Because it is based on the speaker’s daily life, the OASES provides information that goes well beyond that available through typical severity ratings.