Authors: Benway NR, Hitchcock ER, McAllister T, Feeny GT, Hill J, Preston JL
Title: Comparing Biofeedback Types for Children With Residual /r/ Errors in American English: A Single-Case Randomization Design
Source: American Journal of Speech Language Pathology 2021 30(4): 1819-1845
Year: 2021
Research Design: Single Case Design

Purpose: Research comparing different biofeedback types could lead to individualized treatments for those with residual speech errors. This study examines within-treatment response to ultrasound and visual-acoustic biofeedback, as well as generalization to untrained words, for errors affecting the American English rhotic /r/. We investigated whether some children demonstrated greater improvement in /r/ during ultrasound or visual-acoustic biofeedback. Each participant received both biofeedback types. Individual predictors of treatment response (i.e., age, auditory-perceptual skill, oral somatosensory skill, and growth mindset) were also explored. Method: Seven children ages 9-16 years with residual rhotic errors participated in 10 treatment visits. Each visit consisted of two conditions: 45 min of ultrasound biofeedback and 45 min of visual-acoustic biofeedback. The order of biofeedback conditions was randomized within a single-case experimental design. Acquisition of /r/ was evaluated through acoustic measurements (normalized F3-F2 difference) of selected nonbiofeedback productions during practice. Generalization of /r/ was evaluated through acoustic measurements and perceptual ratings of pretreatment/posttreatment probes. Results: Five participants demonstrated acquisition of practiced words during the combined treatment package. Three participants demonstrated a clinically significant degree of generalization to untreated words on posttreatment probes. Randomization tests indicated one participant demonstrated a significant advantage for visual-acoustic over ultrasound biofeedback. Participants' auditory-perceptual acuity on an /r/-/w/ identification task was identified as a possible correlate of generalization following treatment. Conclusions: Most participants did not demonstrate a statistically significant difference in acoustic productions between the ultrasound and visual-acoustic conditions, but one participant showed greater improvement in /r/ during visual-acoustic biofeedback.

Access: Paywall