Authors: Park S, Theodoros D, Finch E, Cardell E
Title: Be Clear: A New Intensive Speech Treatment for Adults With Nonprogressive Dysarthria
Source: American Journal of Speech Language Pathology 2016 25(1): 97-110
Year: 2016
Research Design: Case Series

Purpose: This article describes the effects of a new intensive dysarthria treatment program (Be Clear) on speech intelligibility in adults with dysarthria secondary to stroke and traumatic brain injury. Method: A small group–repeated measures research design was used to examine the effects of treatment on the speech of 8 participants with nonprogressive dysarthria. Treatment consisted of a 1-hr prepractice session followed by 1-hr therapy sessions, 4 times per week, for 4 weeks (16 sessions). Paired-comparison ratings of speech intelligibility served as the primary outcome measure for the study. Perceptual data, quality of life, and communication partner opinion were obtained at 3 time intervals: (a) prior to treatment, (b) immediately posttreatment, and (c) 1–3 months posttreatment. Results: Following treatment, group data demonstrated substantial improvements in speech intelligibility as perceived by naive listeners on a paired-comparison rating task. Word intelligibility was clinically significantly improved posttreatment and sentence intelligibility demonstrated statistically significant improvement. Communication partner ratings of speech intelligibility and overall communicative function were statistically significantly improved posttreatment. Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that this new intensive treatment may have potential as an effective intervention for nonprogressive dysarthria. However, controlled studies are required to establish treatment efficacy.

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