Authors: Moya-Gale G, Keller B, Escorial S, Levy ES
Title: Speech Treatment Effects on Narrative Intelligibility in French-Speaking Children With Dysarthria
Source: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 2021 64(6S): 2154-2168
Year: 2021
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: N/A
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Purpose: This study examined the effects of Speech Intelligibility Treatment (SIT) on intelligibility and naturalness of narrative speech produced by francophone children with dysarthria due to cerebral palsy. Method: Ten francophone children with dysarthria were randomized to one of two treatments, SIT or Hand-Arm Bimanual Intensive Therapy Including Lower Extremities, a physical therapy (PT) treatment. Both treatments were conducted in a camp setting and were comparable in dosage. The children were recorded pre- and posttreatment producing a story narrative. Intelligibility was measured by means of 60 blinded listeners' orthographic transcription accuracy (percentage of words transcribed correctly). The listeners also rated the children's naturalness on a visual analogue scale. Results: A significant pre- to posttreatment increase in intelligibility was found for the SIT group, but not for the PT group, with great individual variability observed among the children. No significant changes were found for naturalness ratings or sound pressure level in the SIT group or the PT group posttreatment. Articulation rate increased in both treatment groups, although not differentially across treatments. Conclusions: Findings from this first treatment study on intelligibility in francophone children with dysarthria suggest that SIT shows promise for increasing narrative intelligibility in this population. Acoustic contributors to the increased intelligibility remain to be explored further. Supplemental Material

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