Our research and publications

Current projects

The Michael Palin Centre has been carrying out research into stammering and also the effectiveness of our therapy for the last 15 years. We are pleased to be collaborating with UK-based and international colleagues on projects which are currently underway or will be starting in the near future.

Palin Stammering Therapy for School Aged Children: A feasibility trial.

Chief Investigator: Dr Sharon Millard, The Michael Palin Centre for Stammering

Co-Investigators: Professor Victoria Joffe, University of Essex; Dr Lorna Rixon; Dr Suzanne Murphy, University of Bedfordshire.

Funded by: National Institute for Health Research, Research for Patient Benefit.

Palin Stammering Therapy for School aged Children (8-14) (Palin STSC(8-14)) is a 10 week therapy programme developed by the therapists at the Michael Palin Centre, for children who stammer from aged 8 to 14 and their parents. The aim of the therapy is to: reduce the impact of the stammer on the child and parents; encourage confident and competent communication; and increase parents’ knowledge and confidence in how to support their child.

Aim of the study:

The ultimate goal is to conduct a large research trial to find out if Palin STSC(8-14) is more or less effective and cost-effective than the usual therapy provided in NHS clinics. However, before that can happen, it is necessary to find out whether it is possible to run such a trial.  The research team ran this feasibility trial to test all the different parts that would be involved in a large trial.


Details of the trial can be found at:

Millard, S. K., Murphy, S., Barton, G., Leathersich, M., Mills, G., Rixon, L., … & Joffe, V. (2022). Evaluating Palin Stammering Therapy for School Children (Palin STSC 8–14): protocol for a feasibility randomised controlled trial comparing Palin STSC (8–14) with usual treatment. Pilot and feasibility studies8(1), 1-14.



The Researchers found that:

  • Speech and Language Therapists, children and parents are willing to take part in this research and feel that it is important;
  • overall, children, parents and therapists found the therapy to be helpful and were positive about it;
  • the research methods were largely acceptable. Some changes will be made to the assessment process to make it easier for children and families to complete,
  • following their training, therapists were able deliver the therapy as it was intended,
  • based on the information collected, we are able to cost the full trial.

Next steps:

The research team concluded that a full trial comparing Palin STSC(8-14) with usual treatment delivered in the NHS, is possible and so will apply for funding to carry this out. The details of the feasibility trial and the results will be written up for submission to an open access peer reviewed journal.

Our research and publications

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Sometimes you just need someone to talk to

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“This has given us hope and a plan of action to help our son. We feel very positive about the future. It has given us confidence!”


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