June 19 2013 Latest news:
Sunday, March 3, 2013
Researchers at the University of East Anglia are pioneering a new online treatment which aims to help people who stammer.
And the team is looking for people in Norfolk to take part in the trial.
The treatment is funded by the National Institute for Health Research’s Research for Patient Benefit Programme, which could one day help some of the 70m people who stammer worldwide.
Around 720,000 people in the UK and experience stammering. Recent films such as The King’s Speech, starring Colin Firth and Hyde Park on Hudson, featuring Bill Murray, have helped raise awareness of the condition.
People who stammer may experience high levels of social anxiety - a profound fear of interacting with or being evaluated by other people.
Treatments like Cognitive Behaviour Therapy can be used to treat social anxiety, but face-to-face ‘talking therapy’ can be off-putting for people who stammer.
Participants in the trial will instead take part in a four-week series of online computer-based sessions.
Dr Jan McAllister, from the UEA’s School of Allied Health Professions, is leading the project.
She said: “Sufferers may be reluctant to receive treatment that requires them to have lengthy spoken conversations with a therapist - because if their social anxiety is associated with their speech problem they will, by definition, dislike speaking.
“Our research will look at whether taking part in online computer-based tasks could help instead. This approach has been successful for people who have high levels of social anxiety who do not stammer.”
The research team is looking for people who stammer, and who live in the East Anglia region, to take part.
To register or to find out more about the trial, contact Dr McAllister by emailing J.Mcallister@uea.ac.uk
Police are investigating the death of a woman whose body was found in a garden pond today.
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