The Lee Silverman Voice Treatment

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There are many treatment methods that are used to target increasing vocal loudness and amplitude, particularly in individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. The Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) “is an intensive, 1-month speech therapy regimen that trains dysarthric individuals with Parkinson’s Disease to speak in a louder voice while self-monitoring the effort it takes to produce such a voice” (Sapir, Spielman, Ramig, Story, & Fox, 2007). The treatment focus is to improve the individual 's voice quality and vocal function. Although the treatment program is aimed for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease, research has been done on individuals with hypomimia, traumatic brain injury, strokes, Dysarthria, Velopharyngeal Function (VPI), hypernasality, swallowing, voice disorders, and children with spastic cerebral palsy and dysarthria. Summary of Literature Much of the research that has been done involves individuals with Parkinson’s Disease however, research studies have been implemented with other disorders and impairments. Several of the studies examined patients for 4 weeks of the LSVT program and then maintenance over 6 months post treatment. Many of the studies evaluated the individual prior to treatment, after each day of the treatment, and then 6 months post treatment. Several studies examined voice disorders in Parkinson’s Disease such as vowel articulation, dysarthria, hypernasality, and vocal loudness. Effects of LSVT on swallowing outcomes was studied in individuals who had idiopathic Parkinson’s Disease such as improving neuromuscular control of “the entire aerodigestive tract, the tongue and base of tongue, during the oral and pharyngeal phases as well as improving vocal intensity” (El Sharkawi, et al., 2002). Other studi... ... middle of paper ... ...owing, hypomimia, voice and vocal quality such as vocal loudness, perception, intensity, phonation, hypernasality, hypophonia, and vocal fold closure. Research has also provided positive outcomes of treatment regarding motor, sensory, and neurological disorders. The evidence suggesting that by targeting one aspect it can generalize to multiple areas for improvement is essential in treatment for clients with multiple necessary areas of improvement. Additionally, because the treatment is simple and relatively easy to understand, the treatment can be used with individuals with cognitive impairments. By focusing on the aspect of loudness as the target in treatment it decreases the cognitive demands during the session (Fox & Boliek, 2012) and “can have a positive effect across the speech mechanism without direct attention to other systems” (Sapir et al., 2007).
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