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Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener. 2013 Jan;14(1):20-5. doi: 10.3109/17482968.2012.692382. Epub 2012 Aug 7.

Speech therapy and communication device: impact on quality of life and mood in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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Department of Neurology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.

Erratum in

  • Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener. 2013 Apr;14(3):240. Siniawski, Michael [corrected to Sieniawski, Michael].


Dysarthria has a drastic impact on the quality of life of ALS patients. Most patients suffering from dysarthria are offered speech therapy. Communication devices are prescribed less frequently. In the present study we investigated the impact of these therapeutic arrangements on quality of life in ALS patients. Thirty-eight ALS patients with dysarthria or anarthria, who underwent speech therapy and/or used communication devices answered three standardized questionnaires (Beck Depression Inventory - II (BDI), SF-36 Health Survey questionnaire (SF-36) and ALS Functional Rating Scale-revised (ALSFRS-R)) and were further interviewed about their experience with and benefit of speech therapy and communication devices. Most of the patients described a high impact of the communication device on their quality of life while the influence of speech therapy was rated less. By multiple regression analysis we confirmed an independent positive effect of communication device use on depression and psychological distress. In conclusion, communication systems improve or at least stabilize quality of life and mood in dysarthric ALS patients, and should be provided early in the disease course.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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