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The effects of intensive speech treatment on conversational intelligibility in Spanish speakers with Parkinson’s disease

Moya-Galé, Gemma; Goudarzi, Alireza; Bayés, Àngels; McAuliffe, Megan J.; Bulté, Bram; Levy, Erika S.

Purpose: To examine the effects of intensive speech treatment on the conversational intelligibility of Castilian Spanish speakers with Parkinson’s disease (PD), as well as on the speakers’ self-perceptions of disability.

Method: Fifteen speakers with a medical diagnosis of PD participated in this study. Speech recordings were completed twice before treatment, immediately post-treatment and at a one-month follow-up session. Conversational intelligibility was assessed in two ways—transcription accuracy scores and intelligibility ratings on a 9-point Likert scale. The Voice Handicap Index (VHI) was administered as a measure of self-perceived disability.

Results: Group data revealed that transcription accuracy and median ease-of-understanding ratings increased significantly immediately post-treatment, with gains maintained at the one-month follow-up. The functional subscale of the VHI decreased significantly post-treatment, suggesting a decrease in perceived communication disability after speech treatment.

Conclusion: These findings support the implementation of intensive voice treatment to improve conversational intelligibility in Spanish speakers with PD with dysarthria as well as to improve the speakers' perception of their daily communicative capabilities. Clinical and theoretical considerations are discussed.

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Also Published In

Title
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1044/2017_AJSLP-17-0032

More About This Work

Academic Units
Communication Sciences and Disorders
Published Here
July 1, 2020