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This study used a pre-post intervention research design to explore the feasibility and speech, communicative effectiveness, and quality of life outcomes of a group therapy programme (Loud and Proud) for people with Parkinson’s Disease following intensive speech treatment (LSVT LOUD). Four women and eight men diagnosed with PD and hypokinetic dysarthria participated in the research. Ten communication partners of people with PD also participated in the study. Participants were assessed twice on separate days pre- and post-intervention on acoustic measures of voice, perceptual ratings of speech intelligibility, a modified Communicative Effectiveness Index, and the Quality of Communication Life Scale. The intervention was eight 90-minute group therapy sessions, delivered once per week. Following intervention, participants demonstrated a statistically significant increase in sound pressure level (SPL) during conversation, monologue, reading and sustained vowel production tasks. However, mean SPL in conversation remained low following intervention. No significant improvements post-intervention were identified for maximum frequency range, duration of sustained vowel production, speech intelligibility, communicative effectiveness or quality of life. Refinements to Loud and Proud were recommended to better target intelligibility, communicative effectiveness, and quality of communication life.


School of Allied Health

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Journal Article

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