Semin Speech Lang 2007; 28(4): 312-322
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-986528
© Thieme Medical Publishers

Application of the ICF in Fluency Disorders

J. Scott Yaruss1
  • 1Associate Professor, Communication Science and Disorders, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Associate Director, Audiology and Communication Disorders, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
12 October 2007 (online)


Stuttering is a complicated communication disorder that can affect many aspects of a speaker's life. In addition to exhibiting observable disruptions in speech (e.g., part-word repetitions, prolongations, blocks), many people who stutter also experience broader consequences in their lives because of their stuttering. Examples include difficulty with social communication (e.g., speaking with other people, making introductions) and job-related tasks (e.g., talking on the phone, participating in meetings). Because it incorporates these types of daily experiences, the World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) provides an ideal framework for considering the overall experience of the stuttering disorder. The purpose of this article is to highlight the ways in which the ICF can help clinicians, people who stutter, and the general public understand the multifaceted nature of stuttering. The article will also describe how clinicians can use the ICF as a framework for developing comprehensive evaluations and providing individualized treatment plans for people who stutter.


J. Scott Yaruss, Ph.D. 

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Pittsburgh PA 15260

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