Updated: Nov 22
At True Self Speech Therapy we are dedicated to offering the latest therapies that empower individuals to regain control over their speech and communication. Today, we're diving into the transformative potential of Speak Out! therapy and its profound impact on improving speech clarity and quality in individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD).
Speak Out! therapy has emerged as a beacon of hope for individuals grappling with hypokinetic dysarthria, a speech disorder often associated with PD. A recent study (cited below), has shed light on the remarkable efficacy of this therapy in addressing speech deficits, offering new avenues for those seeking to enhance their communication abilities.
The study, conducted among individuals with PD, showcased compelling results following an 8-hour, 12-session standardized program of Speak Out!, emphasizing intentional speech. Participants underwent assessments pre- and post-therapy, revealing statistically significant improvements across multiple speech parameters, including intensity, prosody, voice quality, and self-perception of voice (V-RQoL).
One of the study's key findings was the substantial improvement in intensity levels achieved through intentional speech exercises. This increase in intensity was attributed to enhanced vocal fold closure and increased lung pressure, resulting in notable gains in speech clarity and audibility.
Prosody, a crucial element in facilitating listener understanding, exhibited significant improvements post-therapy, albeit with varied gains between reading and monologue tasks. Nonetheless, the increase in prosodic variation highlighted the therapy's potential to enhance expressive speech aspects.
Furthermore, the study demonstrated a significant enhancement in voice quality, which showed substantial improvement, particularly in women participants. The positive change in self-assessed V-RQoL scores indicated an enhanced perception of voice functioning in everyday life post-therapy.
While the research findings underscore the promising outcomes of Speak Out! therapy, they also emphasize the need for further investigation. Understanding individual responses to treatment, exploring cognitive factors' impact on therapy, and assessing the long-term effects of the therapy in daily life remain focal points for future studies.
At True Self Speech Therapy, we're happy to offer Speak Out! as a treatment option. We’re committed to offering personalized and evidence-based interventions, tailored to meet each individual's unique needs. Our goal is to empower our clients to achieve meaningful improvements in speech clarity, expression, and confidence in communication.
If you or a loved one is living with PD and facing speech challenges, Speak Out! therapy at True Self Speech Therapy could be the key to unlocking improved speech clarity and quality. Contact us today to learn more about how our specialized therapy programs can make a difference in your speech journey.
Behrman A, Cody J, Elandary S, Flom P, Chitnis S. “The Effect of SPEAK OUT! and The LOUD Crowd on Dysarthria Due to Parkinson's Disease”. Am J Speech Lang Pathol. 2020 Aug 4;29(3):1448-1465. Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with a qualified speech pathologist for a personalized evaluation and treatment plan.