What is it about?

Multiple studies have shown that the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment: LOUD (LSVT LOUD®) is clinically beneficial in the treatment of voice and speech impairments for persons with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). But most studies have used trained listeners to evaluate changes in participants' speech; few have assessed if these changes are perceptible to untrained listeners, like the caregivers and community members that individuals with PD interact with on an everyday basis. This study partially reproduced a 2007 study by Sapir, Spielman, Ramig, Story, & Fox, but unlike the original research, this study used untrained listeners recruited through online crowdsourcing to measure participants' progress over the course of treatment. The listeners heard pairs of sound files elicited before and after treatment, randomly ordered, and had to indicate which sound in each pair was more clear. Statistical analysis revealed that the listeners selected the post-treatment recordings as "more clear" significantly more often than the pre-treatment recordings. This provides evidence that the benefits of LSVT LOUD treatment were not only apparent to trained listeners but can also be detected by everyday listeners. It additionally suggests that online crowdsourcing can be a viable means to measure changes in speech over the course of treatment for conditions such as PD.

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Why is it important?

Dr. Lorraine Ramig and Tara McAllister met at The American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation’s Implementation Science Summit. What came of their meeting ignited and inspired them to answer the question: can research found in a lab setting be found in the real-world as well? In their newest research publication, crowdsource research is at the forefront, and shines through as a new method in receiving quick and supplemental data.

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This page is a summary of: Using Crowdsourced Listeners' Ratings to Measure Speech Changes in Hypokinetic Dysarthria: A Proof-of-Concept Study, American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2020, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), DOI: 10.1044/2019_ajslp-19-00162.
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