Authors: Mahler LA, Ramig LO, Fox C
Title: Intensive Voice Treatment (LSVT LOUD) for dysarthria secondary to stroke
Source: Journal of Medical Speech Language Pathology 2009 17(4): 165-182
Year: 2009
Research Design: Single Case Design

Stroke is an increasing cause of disability in the United States. The frequent occurrence of communication disorders following stroke make the selection of appropriate treatment strategies of critical importance. This was a Phase I study to detect whether there was a positive treatment effect of intensive voice training (LSVT LOUD) on two individuals with dysarthria secondary to chronic stroke. Data were collected using an A-B-A-A single subject design with three pre-, two post-, and two follow-up evaluations at 4 months following treatment. Vocal sound pressure level (SPL) changes for sustained phonation, monologue, reading, and picture description indicated increased vocal SPL following intensive treatment that was maintained at follow-up. Five listeners completed auditory-perceptual analyses of pre- and posttreatment speech samples for understandability (articulation clarity) and functional communication preference. Listeners preferred posttreatment speech samples of one participant but rated the post-treatment speech samples for the second participant as similar or worse. The second participant had greater language deficits than the first, which may have influenced listeners' ratings of speech characteristics. Both participants and family members reported positive outcomes of treatment on functional communication rating scales and in post-treatment interviews. The application of intensive voice treatment to improve functional communication in individuals with dysarthria secondary to stroke is discussed.

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