The Therapeutic Effect of Speechvive on Prosody in Parkinson's Disease

Brianna Rose Kiefer, Purdue University


It is well known that physiological impairments secondary to Parkinson’s Disease (PD) negatively impact speech production. Individuals with PD display vocal, prosodic, resonant, and articulatory abnormalities which reduce communicative effectiveness. Prosody is a broad term which refers to the alterations in pitch, duration, and loudness used by speakers to convey important linguistic and paralinguistic information during speech. Little is known about the prosodic abnormalities associated with PD relative to healthy older adults; however, it is well known that individuals with PD display impairments in their ability to modulate the acoustic cues (pitch, duration, intensity) associated with prosodic inflection in speech. Literature presently lacks sufficient evidence to support treatment paradigms commonly used to address dysprosody in PD. Thus, there is a significant need to develop and investigate potential evidence-based treatment paradigms for dysprosody associated with PD. The present study aimed to examine the potential treatment effects the SpeechVive device has on treating dysprosody in PD. Acoustic recordings were obtained from 15 individuals with PD during a reading task. Participants read the passage at the start of the study and 12 weeks later, after wearing the SpeechVive device for the intervening weeks. Main outcome measures examined productions of contrastive stress, intonation contours, rate, and patterns of pausing. The results revealed that participants increased vocal intensity levels during the production of stressed words and improved standard deviation of pitch during the productions of intonation contours. Lastly, the device was found to improve participants’ abilities to pause relative to syntactic boundaries.




Huber, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Linguistics|Speech therapy|Acoustics

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