Authors: Wenke RJ, Theodoros D, Cornwell P
Title: A comparison of the effects of the Lee Silverman voice treatment and traditional therapy on intelligibility, perceptual speech features, and everday communication in nonprogressive dysarthria
Source: Journal of Medical Speech Language Pathology 2011 19(4): 1-24
Year: 2011
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 07/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - N
Random allocation - Y
Concealed allocation - Y
Baseline comparability - Y
Blind subjects - N
Blind therapists - N
Blind assessors - Y
Adequate follow-up - Y
Intention-to-treat analysis - N
Between-group comparisons - Y
Point estimates and variability - Y

The current study aimed to compare the effects of the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVJ®) with traditional dysarthria therapy (TRAD) on speech intelligibility, perceptual speech features, and everyday communication in non progressive dysarthria. Twenty-six participants with non progressive dysarthria were randomly allocated to receive either LSVT (n = 13) or TRAD (n = 13), with both treatments being provided during 16 hourly sessions over 4 weeks. An ABAA experimental design was used with participants being assessed on perceptual and self-report measures prior to treatment, immediately post treatment, and 6 months posttreatment (follow-up). A limited number of significant differences between the two treatments were identified. Differences included a slower speaking rate (words per minute) and reports of an increase in conversation initiation with strangers at follow-up in the LSVT group and reduced slurring of speech at follow-up in the TRAD group. Although certain improvements to intelligibility, rate, and loudness were found exclusively after LSVT, a comparable pattern o flong-term improvements in participation and well-being as determined by the AusTOMs (the Australian version of the Therapy Outcome Measures), was demonstrated in participants after both treatments. The study demonstrated that the LSVT as a treatment option for individuals with nonprogressive dysarthria resulted in comparable effects to intensive TRAD. Because of the relatively small participant numbers and subjective nature of variables, it was suggested that the LSVT be trialled on an individual basis in this population until further research is undertaken. The positive effects of LSVT on dysarthric speakers and the importance of applying motor learning principles in dysarthria management are highlighted.

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