Preliminary Evaluation of the Effects of Low Dose LSVT® on
Vocal Loudness in Idiopathic Parkinson’s Disease

J Spielman, A Halpern, L Ramig, J Petska.

 

The Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT®) currently has the only published Level I evidence for speech treatment in Parkinson’s disease (PD) (Ramig et al., 2001). However, the intensity of treatment administration (4 times a week for 4 weeks) may present a problem to Speech-Language Pathologists, many of whom stray from published recommendations. Alternative administrations include group treatment, or a reduced number of weekly sessions extended over a longer period of time. While such treatments may be successful, there are no data supporting the efficacy of the LSVT® when it is not administered as recommended. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of a “low-dose” LSVT® treatment on vocal loudness in PD.

 

In this study, 13 subjects with idiopathic PD received LSVT® 2 times a week for 8 weeks. Subjects were recorded before and immediately after treatment, and again at 6 months, as in previous studies. Vocal loudness (SPL) was measured for a variety of tasks and compared to data from subjects receiving traditional LSVT®. Results indicate that low-dose LSVT® increases vocal SPL to levels consistent with typical administration, suggesting that this version of the treatment may be viable. However, clinical experience with low-dose LSVT® also indicates that it may not be easier to implement, or appropriate for all individuals.