Authors: Theodoros DG, Hill AJ, Russell TG
Title: Clinical and Quality of Life Outcomes of Speech Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease Delivered to the Home Via Telerehabilitation: A Noninferiority Randomized Controlled Trial
Source: American Journal of Speech Language Pathology 2016 25(2): 214-232
Year: 2016
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 07/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - Y
Random allocation - Y
Concealed allocation - N
Baseline comparability - Y
Blind subjects - N
Blind therapists - N
Blind assessors - Y
Adequate follow-up - Y
Intention-to-treat analysis - Y
Between-group comparisons - Y
Point estimates and variability - Y

Purpose: This study investigated the noninferiority and validity of an intensive speech treatment for people with Parkinson's disease (PD) delivered via telerehabilitation to the home. The effect of location on online delivery was also investigated. Method: In this single-blinded, randomized controlled noninferiority trial, 31 participants with dysarthria associated with PD from a metropolitan area were randomly assigned to either face-to-face or online Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT LOUD). A cohort of 21 participants from nonmetropolitan areas was also recruited and treated online. Outcomes were assessed using acoustic, perceptual, and quality of life measures. Results: Noninferiority of online treatment was confirmed through comparable clinical and quality of life outcomes for the metropolitan online and face-to-face treatment groups. Significant improvements posttreatment were achieved for several acoustic, perceptual, and quality of life measures across the groups. No significant effect of online treatment location was identified. Conclusions: Clinical and quality of life outcomes supported the noninferiority and validity of online delivery of intensive speech treatment to people with PD in the home. Future research should address the implementation of online treatment in a clinical service, cost analyses, and potentially technology-enabled clinical pathways for people with PD in order to maintain optimal communication and quality of life.

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