Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Update on the Franken trial on Lidcombe and DC

I have been staying in touch with Marie-Christen Franken who is leading the largest outcome trial into early childhood treatment. Her team is based in the Netherlands, and they have set out to treat over 100 kids randomly assigning them to Lidcombe or Demands and Capacities treatment according to a treatment protocol.

They have now included more than 120 kids, and are processing the data. They are discussing when and how they should release results. In my opinion, they should not publish preliminary data (even though that sample would probably be higher than any other study!) and wait to have a complete dataset with 120 kids for a given observation period. Thus they could publish end of therapy data, one year later, three years and five years later. And once after puberty at age 18.

I am sure many people are interested in the data. My guess is that the short-term and long-term data will show no significant difference between both treatments, not clearly more recovery rate than natural recovery rate (though it is difficult to know which rate to use but one can use any rate and see at what rate it would be better). And had they compared both treatments to no treatment group, a reduction in secondary symptoms. The lack of a control group is a big issue, but maybe they can find a good group. The Reilly study might be such a good benchmark.


Anonymous said...

Not sure if any parents would want their children to be in a no treatment control group...possible law suits later if their kid end up becoming a permanently disabled stutterer and they find out....

(SLP researchers withholding treatment options for the sake of research)

Oh, good, they can milk at least 2-3 publications out of this study group.

title would be something: preliminary study.

What happens if someone use a combination of DC and Lid or first DC and then Lid?

It would seem like different treatments work for different kids.

Also, if the study came out negative for the Lidcombe program, the Lidcombe researchers might argue that the Lidcombe "technique" was not properly applied.

The issue of having a control group is potentially scary for the speech pathologist and the SLP profession (stuttering experts). It is entirely possible that the no treatment control group kids would have the best recovery rates...then what?

For the sake of mankind, let's just pray that the no treatment group perform the worst no matter what, if the researchers have the guts to implement a control group in their scientific experiments.

Tom Weidig said...

But that's the irony. People ASSUME that treatment is better than NO treatment, but how do we know if we haven't done the proper random control trials!

They sent all their therapists to Lidcombe training and they follow their treatment protocols!

They could have a control group where kids are just monitored.


Anonymous said...

Only SFA Therapy is worth anything... Look how it cured Joe Biden, Bruce Willis, Bill Walton, Julia Roberts and her brother, Tiger Woods, Ken Ventura and all the other SFA spokes models...