Authors: Blyth KM, McCabe P, Madill C, Ballard KJ
Title: Ultrasound visual feedback in articulation therapy following partial glossectomy
Source: Journal of Communication Disorders 2016 61: 1-15
Year: 2016
Research Design: Single Case Design

Disordered speech is common following treatment for tongue cancer, however there is insufficient high quality evidence to guide clinical decision making about treatment. This study investigated use of ultrasound tongue imaging as a visual feedback tool to guide tongue placement during articulation therapy with two participants following partial glossectomy. A Phase I multiple baseline design across behaviors was used to investigate therapeutic effect of ultrasound visual feedback during speech rehabilitation. Percent consonants correct and speech intelligibility at sentence level were used to measure acquisition, generalization and maintenance of speech skills for treated and untreated related phonemes, while unrelated phonemes were tested to demonstrate experimental control. Swallowing and oromotor measures were also taken to monitor change. Sentence intelligibility was not a sensitive measure of speech change, but both participants demonstrated significant change in percent consonants correct for treated phonemes. One participant also demonstrated generalization to non-treated phonemes. Control phonemes along with swallow and oromotor measures remained stable throughout the study. This study establishes therapeutic benefit of ultrasound visual feedback in speech rehabilitation following partial glossectomy. Learning outcomes: Readers will be able to explain why and how tongue cancer surgery impacts on articulation precision. Readers will also be able to explain the acquisition, generalization and maintenance effects in the study.

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