Be Clear: A New Intensive Speech Treatment for Adults With Nonprogressive Dysarthria

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Park, Stacie
Theodoros, Deborah
Finch, Emma
Cardell, Elizabeth
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2016
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Abstract

Purpose This article describes the effects of a new intensive dysarthria treatment program ( Be Clear) on speech intelligibility in adults with dysarthria secondary to stroke and traumatic brain injury.

Method A small group–repeated measures research design was used to examine the effects of treatment on the speech of 8 participants with nonprogressive dysarthria. Treatment consisted of a 1-hr prepractice session followed by 1-hr therapy sessions, 4 times per week, for 4 weeks (16 sessions). Paired-comparison ratings of speech intelligibility served as the primary outcome measure for the study. Perceptual data, quality of life, and communication partner opinion were obtained at 3 time intervals: (a) prior to treatment, (b) immediately posttreatment, and (c) 1–3 months posttreatment.

Results Following treatment, group data demonstrated substantial improvements in speech intelligibility as perceived by naive listeners on a paired-comparison rating task. Word intelligibility was clinically significantly improved posttreatment and sentence intelligibility demonstrated statistically significant improvement. Communication partner ratings of speech intelligibility and overall communicative function were statistically significantly improved posttreatment.

Conclusions The results of this study suggest that this new intensive treatment may have potential as an effective intervention for nonprogressive dysarthria. However, controlled studies are required to establish treatment efficacy.

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American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
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25
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Clinical sciences
Clinical sciences not elsewhere classified
Cognitive and computational psychology
Linguistics
Education systems
Allied health and rehabilitation science
Speech intelligibility
Dysarthria
Stroke
Brain injury
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