Authors: Bryans LA, Palmer AD, Anderson S, Schindler J, Graville DJ
Title: The impact of Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT LOUD) on voice, communication, and participation: Findings from a prospective, longitudinal study
Source: Journal of Communication Disorders 2021 89: Article ID: 106031
Year: 2021
Research Design: Case Series

BACKGROUND: Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT LOUD R), an intensive 4-week program of voice therapy, is regarded as the most well-researched, efficacious treatment for hypokinetic dysarthria in individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD). Although numerous studies have published acoustic and perceptual findings, there is comparatively little information about the impact of LSVT LOUD R on functional communication outcomes. METHODS: This prospective, longitudinal study investigated the impact of treatment on daily communication in 25 individuals with PD. Three validated communication measures (the Voice Handicap Index, the Communicative Effectiveness Scale, and the Communicative Participation Item Bank) were given before and after treatment and again 4-8 weeks and 3-6 months following treatment. Communication partners were also asked to rate communication effectiveness at all four timepoints. RESULTS: Significant improvements were found for all three self-reported scales which remained above baseline across all post-treatment timepoints. In addition, self-reported communicative effectiveness was significantly correlated with the assessments of communication partners. Particular benefits were reported for more complex communicative activities such as asking questions, giving detailed information, communicating in noisy situations, and speaking in groups. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, the findings suggested that LSVT LOUD R promotes an increased sense of personal control over the communication difficulties resulting from PD by decreasing voice handicap and improving communication effectiveness and communicative participation. For individuals with PD, LSVT LOUD R may reduce the risk of social isolation by improving communication and facilitating social participation. LEARNING OUTCOMES: As a result of this activity, the participant will be able to (1) describe the impact of PD on voice and communication, (2) discuss how these characteristics may be associated with more global measures of functional communication and particularly communicative participation, (3) explain which aspects of functional communication were affected by LSVT LOUD R as assessed by study participants and their communication partners.

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