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Stud Health Technol Inform ; 290: 919-923, 2022 Jun 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1933582


People with Parkinson's disease (PD) can have dysarthria, a voice disorder that affects speech intelligibility. To fight this disorder people may resort to speech and language therapy. Unfortunately, weekly speech therapy sessions may not be enough, because to achieve and maintain good voice quality, intensive training is required. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic brought attention to the need for alternative speech therapy treatments that complement face-to-face appointments. Here, we propose a serious therapy game to improve voice loudness that can be used for intensive therapy or when face-to-face appointments are not possible. The game integrates three voice exercises used in speech therapy sessions for people with PD and aims to provide motivation for patients to perform the exercises on a daily basis. This application evaluates the vocal intensity, vocal frequency and maximum phonation time, offering real-time visual feedback. It also allows pathologists to customize the exercises difficulty to the needs of each patient.

COVID-19 , Parkinson Disease , Voice , Dysarthria/etiology , Dysarthria/therapy , Humans , Pandemics , Parkinson Disease/complications , Parkinson Disease/therapy , Speech Therapy
Am J Speech Lang Pathol ; 30(2): 503-516, 2021 03 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1545665


Purpose COVID-19 has shifted models of health care delivery, requiring the rapid adoption of telehealth, despite limited evidence and few resources to guide speech-language pathologists. Management of dysarthria presents specific challenges in the telehealth modality. Evaluations of dysarthria typically rely heavily on perceptual judgments, which are difficult to obtain via telehealth given a variety of technological factors such as inconsistencies in mouth-to-microphone distance, changes to acoustic properties based on device settings, and possible interruptions in connection that may cause video freezing. These factors limit the validity, reliability, and clinicians' certainty of perceptual speech ratings via telehealth. Thus, objective measures to supplement the assessment of dysarthria are essential. Method This tutorial outlines how to obtain objective measures in real time and from recordings of motor speech evaluations to support traditional perceptual ratings in telehealth evaluations of dysarthria. Objective measures include pause patterns, utterance length, speech rate, diadochokinetic rates, and overall speech severity. We demonstrate, through clinical case vignettes, how these measures were completed following three clinical telehealth evaluations of dysarthria conducted via Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic. This tutorial describes how each of these objective measures were utilized, in combination with subjective perceptual analysis, to determine deviant speech characteristics and their etiology, develop a patient-specific treatment plan, and track change over time. Conclusion Utilizing objective measures as an adjunct to perceptual ratings for telehealth dysarthria evaluations is feasible under real-world pandemic conditions and can be used to enhance the quality and utility of these evaluations.

Dysarthria/therapy , Speech-Language Pathology/methods , Telemedicine/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Speech Intelligibility , Telemedicine/standards
Laryngoscope ; 132(6): 1251-1259, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1460229


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the presence, degree, predictors, and trajectory of dysphagia, dysphonia, and dysarthria among adults hospitalized with COVID-19 across the Republic of Ireland (ROI) during the first wave of the pandemic. STUDY DESIGN: Prospective observational cohort study. METHODS: Adults with confirmed COVID-19 who were admitted into 14 participating acute hospitals across ROI and referred to speech and language therapy between March 1st and June 30th, 2020 were recruited. Outcomes obtained at initial SLT evaluation and at discharge were oral intake status (Functional Oral Intake Scale), perceptual voice quality (GRBAS), and global dysarthria rating (Dysarthria Severity Scale). RESULTS: Data from 315 adults were analyzed. At initial SLT assessment, 84% required modified oral diets, and 31% required tube feeding. There were high rates of dysphonia (42%) and dysarthria (23%). History of intubation (OR 19.959, 95% CI 6.272, 63.513; P = .000), COVID-19 neurological manifestations (OR 3.592, 95% CI 1.733, 7.445; P = .001), and age (OR 1.034; 95% CI 1.002, 1.066; P = .036) were predictive of oral intake status. History of intubation was predictive of voice quality (OR 4.250, 95% CI 1.838, 9.827; P = .001) and COVID-19 neurological manifestations were predictive of dysarthria (OR 2.275; 95% CI 1.162, 4.456; P = .017). At discharge, there were significant improvements in oral intake (Z = -7.971; P = .000), voice quality (Z = -5.971; P = .000), and dysarthria severity (Z = -2.619; P = .009), although need for modified oral intake (59%), dysphonia (23%), and dysarthria (14%) persisted. CONCLUSION: Dysphagia, dysphonia, and dysarthria were widespread among adults hospitalized with COVID-19 and they persisted for many at discharge. Prompt SLT evaluation is required to minimize complications. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 3 Laryngoscope, 132:1251-1259, 2022.

COVID-19 , Deglutition Disorders , Dysphonia , Adult , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/epidemiology , Deglutition Disorders/complications , Deglutition Disorders/etiology , Dysarthria/epidemiology , Dysarthria/etiology , Dysarthria/therapy , Dysphonia/epidemiology , Dysphonia/etiology , Hoarseness , Humans , Ireland/epidemiology , Prospective Studies