Intensive voice treatment (LSVT®) for patients with Parkinson's disease: a 2 year follow up
- aDepartment of Speech Language Hearing Sciences, University of Colorado-Boulder, Colorado, USA, bWilbur James Gould Voice Center, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, 1245 Champa Street, Denver Colorado 80204, USA, cColorado Neurological Institute, Englewood, Colorado, USA, dDepartment of Psychiatry, University of Colorado Health Science Center, Denver, Colorado, USA
- Dr L O Ramig
- Received 14 February 2000
- Revised 11 May 2001
- Accepted 23 May 2001
OBJECTIVES To assess long term (24 months) effects of the Lee Silverman voice treatment (LSVT®), a method designed to improve vocal function in patients with Parkinson's disease.
METHODS Thirty three patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease were stratified and randomly assigned to two treatment groups. One group received the LSVT®, which emphasises high phonatory-respiratory effort. The other group received respiratory therapy (RET), which emphasises high respiratory effort alone. Patients in both treatment groups sustained vowel phonation, read a passage, and produced a monologue under identical conditions before, immediately after, and 24 months after speech treatment. Change in vocal function was measured by means of acoustic analyses of voice loudness (measured as sound pressure level, or SPL) and inflection in voice fundamental frequency (measured in terms of semitone standard deviation, or STSD).
RESULTS The LSVT® was significantly more effective than the RET in improving (increasing) SPL and STSD immediately post-treatment and maintaining those improvements at 2 year follow up.
CONCLUSIONS The findings provide evidence for the efficacy of the LSVT® as well as the long term maintenance of these effects in the treatment of voice and speech disorders in patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease.