Academic journal article Journal of Medical Speech - Language Pathology

Evaluating the Suitability of Orthographic Transcription and Intelligibility Scale Rating of Semantically Unpredictable Sentences (SUS) for Speech Training Efficacy Research in Dysarthric Speakers with Parkinson's Disease

Academic journal article Journal of Medical Speech - Language Pathology

Evaluating the Suitability of Orthographic Transcription and Intelligibility Scale Rating of Semantically Unpredictable Sentences (SUS) for Speech Training Efficacy Research in Dysarthric Speakers with Parkinson's Disease

Article excerpt

Keywords: E-learning based Speech Therapy (EST), intelligibility outcome measures, semantically unpredictable sentences (SUS).

Purpose: Evaluating the suitability of orthographic transcription and intelligibility scale rating of semantically unpredictable sentences (SUS) for speech training efficacy research in dysarthric speakers caused by Parkinson's disease (PD).

Method: A single SUS set was developed for experiment 1 and five SUS sets for experiment 2. Each set contained ten 6-word declarative sentences (D6), ten 13-word declarative sentences (D13) and ten question sentences (Q). For experiment 1, sentences were read aloud by one speaker with PD and dysarthria, and for experiment 2, five speakers read the sentences. Ten speech-language pathologists completed two intelligibility scoring tasks for the audio-recorded sentences: orthographic transcription and 10-point scale rating. In experiment 1, the interrater reliability for both intelligibility measures was established. In experiment 2, the effects of "SUS set", "listener," and "speaker" on both measures were investigated for all sentence forms.

Results: Only orthographic transcription of D6 sentences met the requirements for efficacy research: the factors "SUS set" and "listener" did not affect transcription scores, but the factor "speaker" did.

Conclusions: The initial results imply that the D6 SUS sets are equivalent with respect to potential intelligibility and sensitive to different degrees of intelligibility as measured by orthographic transcription scores and may be suitable intelligibility measures for speech training efficacy research.

INTRODUCTION

Currently, in our aging population, numerous efforts are aiming at the maintenance of a sound balance between the need for and the availability of health care. These efforts tend to yield innovative interventions that frequently use new technologies, treatment protocols, and procedures. Obviously, when new approaches for treatment are introduced, establishing scientific evidence of the expected benefits is inevitable.

Researchers and practitioners in the field of communication disorders face critical pressure to establish scientific evidence for allegedly beneficial treatments. That is, concerns for objective accountability underpinning clinical reimbursement and research funding underscore the relevance of form and quality of clinical outcome studies (Robey & Schultz, 1998). The clinical outcome research community conducts studies along an organized structure of a model that is mainly based on the concepts of "efficacy" and "effectiveness" (Robey, 2004). Efficacy can be defined as the probability of benefit to individuals in a defined population from a medical technology applied for a given medical problem under ideal conditions of use. Effectiveness is defined as the probability of benefit to individuals in a defined population from a medical technology applied for a given medical problem under average conditions of use. Whereas efficacy research then is conducted under best possible conditions, effectiveness research is conducted under real-world circumstances (Office of Technology Assessment, 1978). The sequence of research tasks in clinical outcome studies is defined by a five-phase model. In phase I, treatment protocols are described, and selected therapeutic effects are identified if present along with an estimation of the magnitude of the effect. In phase II, the dimensions of the therapeutic effect are explored, and the required preliminary tests and preparations are made for testing the protocol in a clinical trial. In phase III, a clinical trial is conducted to test efficacy. After a treatment has been found to be efficacious, in phase IV, the effectiveness of that treatment is tested. Finally, in phase V, the cost-effectiveness is evaluated to establish whether the worth of a treatment justifies the costs (Robey, 2004).

Similar to the area of medical care, the paramedical field of speech-language pathology is facing the challenge of meeting the treatment needs for an expanding group. …

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