I spoke with Peter from StutterTalk about our predictions for 2011. Here they are:
The King's Speech will alter public discourse:
The movie will put the spotlight on stuttering, and do more in terms of public discourse on stuttering than the last decades together. Stuttering will not be seen less as a matter of laugher, and more as a medical condition. This greater exposure might well lead to more funding for research or charities active in the field.
No difference between Lidcombe and Demands&Capacity treatment from Dutch study:
I had this on my list for last year, and according to my calculation the data is ready but not completely analysed and still private. In May 2009, the group had 106 kids enlisted for the trial. So by December 2010, these kids would have started treatment at least 18 months ago. So they already have DOUBLE the amount of kids with one-year after treatment data than as the Lidcombe study. Preliminary results should be there with a decent if impressive sample size.
But the whole publication is slowed done by the time it takes to analyse all the speech data (a complete nightmare if you ask a theorist like myself!), and by their obsession to have the complete sample (190 kids) done. Just think about it. Many groups publish with lousy 10, 20, or 50 kids, aka the Lidcombe group, and the Dutch group is too conscioutious and wait, effectively leaving us exposed to the weak but only research out there.
That reminds me of the saying: Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere! (or propagate the efficacy of their treatment with evidence-based practise with lousy sample size.)
So my prediction is like last year, that there is no difference. But they might not even publish in 2011. The data is there but maybe not for all 190 kids. But hey even 51 would be more than Lidcombe. I just hope that their group will keep up the efforts. I have seen many projects implode like the PEVOS project.
Pagoclone will be stopped for good and more information on the placebo group
It's not really a prediction, because the trial has been stopped. I guess the prediction or hope is that they publish the data of the study. I hope it won't take ages. And if a editor refuses because it's a null result, he/she should go to hell! As I said before, I want to see the placebo group, how much did they improve? If there is no measurement bias, the improvement should be low or zero. One open question is whether a subgroup have benefited, but even there I am not so sure.
Not much on genetics and neuro-imaging unless new technology
I am not sure much will happen in 2011, unless a new technology like MEEG will emerge. Genetics might find more genes. That's difficult to predict. But fundamentally, I don't think the neuro-imagers are going to have a breakthrough, because more theoretical work is needed.
So what are your predictions?