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NeuroRehabilitation. 2008;23(3):207-16.

A pilot study into the effect of vocal exercises and singing on dysarthric speech.

Author information

1
Music Therapy Service, Austin Health, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. jeanette.tamplin@austin.org.au

Abstract

This pilot study aimed to investigate the effects of vocal exercises and singing on intelligibility and speech naturalness for subjects with acquired dysarthria following traumatic brain injury or stroke. A multiple case study design was used, involving pre, mid, and post-treatment assessments of intelligibility, rate, naturalness, and pause time for four subjects with dysarthria. Each subject participated in 24 individual music therapy sessions over eight weeks involving oral motor respiratory exercises, rhythmic and melodic articulation exercises, rhythmic speech cuing, vocal intonation therapy, and therapeutic singing using familiar songs. Results were measured using a standardized dysarthric speech assessment--the Sentence Intelligibility Test, waveform analysis, and ratings of speech naturalness. Statistically significant improvements in functional speech intelligibility were achieved but improvements in rate of speech were not significant. Speech naturalness improved post-treatment and a reduction in the number and length of pauses was verified via waveform analysis. Preliminary findings suggest that a program of vocal exercises and singing may facilitate more normative speech production for people with acquired dysarthria and support the need for further research in this area.

PMID:
18560137
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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