Effectiveness of LSVT in treating people with hereditary ataxia : speech outcomes and patient perceptions

Lowit, Anja and Egan, Aisling (2019) Effectiveness of LSVT in treating people with hereditary ataxia : speech outcomes and patient perceptions. In: International Ataxia Research Conference (IARC) 2019, 2019-11-14 - 2019-11-16, Washington Marriott Wardman Park.

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    Abstract

    Communication difficulties have considerable impact on people with hereditary ataxia, yet there are currently no evidence based treatments. This study aimed to investigate whether Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) can improve communication effectiveness in these speakers. 20 patients were recruited to the study, with 19 completing treatment. Sessions were administered over Skype in the LSVT-X format. Assessments included two baseline and two post-treatment measures. Results indicate significant improvements in patient perceived outcomes for most participants, both in the speech and psychosocial domains. Acoustic data furthermore demonstrate significant improvements in prolonged vowel duration, shimmer and jitter values. Voice quality, intelligibility and naturalness evaluations are ongoing. The study provides a clear indication that speech treatment can have positive impact on communication skills in people with hereditary ataxia.