Authors: Mohseni Z, Mohamadi R, Habibi SAH, Saffarian A, Abolghasemi J
Title: Voice Improvement Following Conventional Speech Therapy Combined with Singing Intervention in People with Parkinson’s Disease: A Three-Arm Randomised Controlled Trial
Source: International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders 2023 58(5): 1752-1767
Year: 2023
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: N/A
To be rated

Background: Although speech and voice disorders are common in Parkinson's disease (PD), there is insufficient evidence to support the effectiveness of behavioural speech therapies in these patients. Aims: This study aimed to examine the effects of a new tele-rehabilitation program, a combining of conventional speech therapy and singing intervention, on voice deficits in patients with PD. Methods & Procedures: This study was a three-armed, assessor-masked, randomised controlled trial. Thirty-three people with PD were randomly assigned to the combination therapy, conventional speech therapy, or singing intervention group. This study followed the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials guidelines for non-pharmacological treatment. Each patient participated in 12 tele-rehabilitation sessions over 4 weeks. The combination therapy group received speech and singing interventions simultaneously (respiratory, speech, voice, and singing exercises). Voice intensity as a primary outcome and the voice handicap index (VHI), maximum frequency range, jitter and shimmer as secondary outcomes were evaluated 1 week before the first intervention session, 1 week after the last intervention session and 3 months after the last evaluation. Outcomes & Results: The results of repeated measures analysis of variance showed a significant main effect of time on all outcomes in all three groups after treatment (p < 0.001). There was a significant group effect for voice intensity (p < 0.001), VHI (p < 0.001), maximum frequency range (p = 0.014) and shimmer (p = 0.001). The combination therapy group demonstrated a significant outperformance in the VHI and shimmer than the speech therapy (p = 0.038) and singing intervention (p < 0.001) groups. The results of this study also indicated that combination therapy group compared to singing intervention group had a larger effect on voice intensity (p < 0.001), shimmer (p < 0.001) and maximum frequency range (p = 0.048). Conclusions & Implication: The results demonstrated that combining speech therapy with a singing intervention delivered through tele-rehabilitation might be more effective in improving voice problems in patients with PD.

Access: Paywall