Dysarthria treatment for Parkinson’s disease: one-year follow-up of SPEAK OUT!® with the LOUD Crowd®

Alison Behrman, Jennifer Cody, Shilpa Chitnis, Samantha Elandary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: SPEAK OUT! with The LOUD Crowd is a standardized speech therapy program typically consisting of 12 one-on-one treatments and ongoing weekly group maintenance sessions for patients with dysarthria due to Parkinson’s disease (PD). It is based upon the hypothesis that increased attention to speech, which is a goal-directed motor activity, may compensate for the impairment in automatic sequential motor behaviors often demonstrated in patients with PD. We present results on the 1-year response to treatment. Methods: Forty individuals with idiopathic PD received SPEAK OUT! delivered in 12 one-on-one 40-min treatment sessions 3 times per week for four consecutive weeks in addition to ongoing group maintenance sessions called The LOUD Crowd. Evaluations occurred 3 times at baseline, within one and six weeks after completion of the SPEAK OUT! sessions (N = 40) and 1-year later (N = 35). Assessments included mean speech intensity and intonation from reading and monolog, the voice quality acoustic measure called cepstral peak prominence (CPP), and scores on the voice-related quality of life questionnaire. Results: The significant improvements achieved in all outcome measures from baseline to completion of SPEAK OUT! were maintained 1-year later. Participation throughout the year in regular group maintenance sessions (The LOUD Crowd) was positively correlated with level of improvement at 1 year for all measures except patient perception of voice. Conclusions: These long-term data contribute evidence of the effectiveness of this speech therapy program for improving communication for individuals with PD and emphasize the importance of regular and ongoing group sessions to sustain therapeutic gains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalLogopedics Phoniatrics Vocology
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • dysarthria
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • speech therapy
  • The LOUD Crowd

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • LPN and LVN
  • Speech and Hearing


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