The effect of speak out! and the loud crowd on dysarthria due to parkinson’s disease

Alison Behrman, Jennifer Cody, Samantha Elandary, Peter Flom, Shilpa Chitnis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose: SPEAK OUT! and The LOUD Crowd is a standardized speech therapy program of 12 individual treatments combined with ongoing weekly group sessions for individuals with dysarthria due to Parkinson’s disease (PD). The premise of this program is that individuals with PD must rely on goal-directed basal ganglia–cortical circuits to compensate for deficits in habitual, automatic control. The purpose of this study was to assess the outcome of this therapy program. Method: Forty individuals with idiopathic PD received SPEAK OUT! in 12 individual 40-min sessions 3 times per week for 4 consecutive weeks and also participated in The LOUD Crowd. Assessments were conducted 3 times at baseline and then within 1 and 6 weeks after completion of the individual SPEAK OUT! sessions. Twenty-five adults without communication disorders were assessed on the same schedule. Acoustic outcome measures were mean intensity from reading and monologue, the prosody measures of standard deviation of intensity and frequency from reading and monologue, and the voice quality measure of cepstral peak prominence from reading. Patient perception of voice was also assessed with the Voice-Related Quality of Life. Results: Posttherapy, mean intensity was greater and variation of frequency was larger in reading and monologue, while variation in intensity was larger in monologue but unchanged in reading. Cepstral peak prominence and Voice-Related Quality of Life scores were significantly higher (improved) after therapy. Conclusion: These data contribute to evidence of the effectiveness of this program for hypokinetic dysarthria secondary to idiopathic PD and thus inform clinical practice in the selection among treatment options.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1448-1465
Number of pages18
JournalAmerican Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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