Technology-supported delivery of effective speech treatment for Parkinson disease


Innovative Technology for the Assisted Delivery of Intensive Voice Treatment (LSVT®LOUD) for Parkinson Disease

Angela E. Halpern, Lorraine O. Ramig, Carlos E. C. Matos, Jill A. Petska-Cable, Jennifer L. Spielman, Janice M. Pogoda, Phillip M. Gilley, Shimon Sapir, John K. Bennett, David H. McFarland
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2012, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). DOI: 10.1044/1058-0360(2012/11-0125)

What is it about?

The majority of individuals with Parkinson disease (PD) have speech and voice disorders. LSVT®LOUD (Lee Silverman Voice Treatment) is an evidence-based treatment that currently is being delivered in 60 countries to help individuals with PD improve their ability to communicate. However, access to this treatment may be challenging for individuals who have mobility constraints or who do not have contact with clinicians who are trained in this method. This study evaluated an interactive, customized software-based program, the LSVTCompanion® to deliver LSVT LOUD as an independent “at-home” clinician for a portion of the treatment sessions. Results supported the use of this system in treating speech and voice disorders in PD. See Video demonstrations at the end of this article.

Why is it important?

This study provided the first evidence that individuals with PD who used the LSVTCompanion had treatment gains comparable to individuals who received the standard in-person LSVT LOUD. Furthermore, these individuals were able to use the LSVTCompanion independently at home and reported that it was very helpful. Outcomes on sound pressure level (reflecting vocal loudness) and listener and significant other ratings supported a positive post-treatment impact on speech and voice.


This study was a creative collaboration among speech clinicians, speech scientists, computer programmers, and engineers. It was funded jointly by the National Institutes of Health-National Institute for Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIH-NIDCD) and the Michael J. Fox Foundation. The outcomes are exciting in terms of the potential impact on increasing accessibility to efficacious speech treatment for PD. In addition, the LSVTCompanion brings valid and reliable research quality measures of speech and voice into ‘the real clinical world’. The LSVTCompanion is being used in both assessment and treatment today by clinicians trained and certified in LSVT LOUD and by their patients for “at-home”‘ practice. This article won the 2012 Journal Editors’ Award for the Article of Highest Merit, American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. To learn more about the LSVTCompanion see Resources at the end of this article. Note: The current product names for the treatment and software program referenced in the article are LSVT LOUD® and LSVT Companion® respectively.

Find out more about the LSVT Companion® System

Learn more information about both the LSVT Companion® System for patients and clinicians to enhance LSVT LOUD delivery!

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LSVT Companion® System Frequently Asked Questions

Read the answers to some frequently asked questions about the LSVT Companion system.

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LSVT Companion Client Edition Demonstration

View how the LSVT Companion Client Edition can be used by LSVT LOUD graduates to practice their voice exercises at home. This can be used for homework practice during LSVT LOUD or used after LSVT LOUD treatment is over.

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LSVT Companion Clinician Edition Demonstration

The LSVT Companion system can be used during LSVT LOUD treatment sessions. This allows the clinician quickly and efficiently collect objective information during treatment sessions.

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LSVT Companion® System, Client Edition Demonstration

Join LSVT LOUD Expert Clinicians as they walk through the LSVT Companion, Client Edition. LSVT LOUD Experts will demonstrate the features of the LSVT Companion Client Edition, showing you how to independently use the Client Edition for homework practice, follow-up practice, or even individual treatment sessions. LSVT LOUD Experts will also show the process for saving updates goals and text on your Client Edition after receiving these files from your LSVT LOUD Certified Clinician.

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