Lee Silverman Voice Treatment

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Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) is primary utilized as a voice treatment for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and attempts to increase vocal loudness and improve vocal function (Ramig L, Sapir S, Fox C, and Countryman S, 2001) (Countryman S, Hoehn M, O’Brien C, Pawlas A, Ramig L, and Sapir S, 2001). There has also been success in utilizing this treatment protocol for patients with dysarthria associated with stroke, and traumatic brain injury as well as children who have cerebral palsy and Down syndrome (Spielman, J Ramig L Mahler L Halpern A Gavin W 2007, )R., Theodoros, D., & Cornwell, P. (January 01, 2008), Marchant, J., McAuliffe, M., & Huckabee, M.-L. (January 01, 2008. LSVT was conceived in 1987 and has been extensively studied around the world since then (Countryman et. Al).

LSVT is a very unique form of voice therapy in that it focuses on several very simple tasks that are designed to maximize the client’s phonation and respiratory functions. (Countrymen et al.) Spielman et all2007 indicated that the standard course of treatment was an extensive treatment schedule of one hour a day, four days a week, for four consecutive weeks. The basis of the treatment regime boils down to overcoming the perception among clients with PD that there is nothing wrong with their speech, and than utilizing intensive sensorimotor training to help them to recognize and use increased effort and louder speech in their day-to-day communication. (Ramig, L. O., Fox, C., & Sapir, S. (January 01, 2004))

Most research studies to test the application and success of LSVT seem to follow the same basic research methodology. Clients with PD are recruited from local support groups, through newspaper advertisements or contact with specialists in other related medical fields. (Countryman et al 2001) (Ramig et al 2001). The normal testing method appears to be randomized control group studies with clients being separated into groups that either receive LSVT or do not receive any voice related therapy, or groups that receive more traditional and less intense forms of vocal or respiration therapy (Ramig et al 2004)(Ramig et al 2001) (Countrymen S. 2001) (Constantinescu, G., Theodoros, D., Russell, T., Ward, E., Wilson, S., & Wootton, R. (January 01, 2011). Control groups can further be broken down into age and gender categories. Initially the clients all have their sound pressure levels are measured to establish a baseline reference point.
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