Improved function and geriatric depression scale profile in outpatients with Parkinson’s disease through the participation in Lee Silverman Voice Therapy BIG® program


Background: Studies have shown the Lee Silverman Voice Therapy BIG® (LSVT BIG) program has improved the motor symptoms of people with Parkinson’s disease (PD).The role of LSVT BIG in enhancing non-motor symptoms of PD like depression requires further study.

Objective: To determine if LSVT BIG improves gait, balance, endurance, functional performance, and Geriatric Depression Scale scores in patients with PD upon completion of the LSVT­BIG program.

Methods: 23 subjects with PD consented to participate in the 4-week intensive LSVT BIG program in an outpatient physical therapy practice.Outcome measures were:the Geriatric Depression Scale (short form, GDS), standard, cognitive and motor versions of Timed Up and Go (TUG), Functional Gait Assessment (FGA), Berg Balance Scale (BBS), and the 6­Minute Walk Test (6MWT).Wilcoxon Signed Rank Tests and paired t-tests and compared pre and post-test values at the p < .05 level.

Results: Statistically significant improvements (p < .01) in GDS scores, TUG times, FGA scores, BBS scores, and the 6MWT distances and occurred after the LSVT BIG program.

Conclusions: LSVT BIG, as a treatment option for individuals with PD, can help improve both motor function and Geriatric Depression Scale values associated with the disease. The immediate effect of LSVT BIG on Geriatric Depression Scale values may indicate an impact on quality of life.