Aims: To investigate whether the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) programme has an effect on the wellbeing and quality of life of individuals with Parkinsonís disease including effect on confidence, emotional wellbeing, relationships and social participation.
Methods: Participants were selected from the caseload of an SLT working in the Eye Ear and Throat Hospital in Cork city. The participants were divided into an experimental group (5 males) who had received LSVT and a control group (1 female, 3 males) who had yet to receive LSVT but were on the waiting list for therapy. All participants completed one face-to-face interview and answered questions regarding the type of speech difficulties they experienced and how these difficulties were impacting on their wellbeing. The experimental group also answered questions about whether LSVT had any effect on their quality of life and wellbeing. The data collected from both groups was analysed and compared using thematic analysis.
Results: The experimental group indicated that after completion of the LSVT programme they experienced improved emotional wellbeing particularly an increased level of confidence, improved family relationships, and increased hobby participation; whereas those without treatment reported loss of confidence, feeling embarrassed, and reduced activity participation.
Discussion: Research on the effect of the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) programme has mainly concentrated on the positive perceptual and acoustic changes in voice experienced by patients. To our knowledge little research has focused on the effect of the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment on wellbeing and quality of life, this study provides a preliminary qualitative overview of areas of wellbeing that are effected by LSVT.
Conclusion: The study indicated that LSVT does have a positive effect on the wellbeing and quality of life of an individual with Parkinsonís disease. In particular all participants found that LSVT had improved their self-confidence and helped them overcome fears of communication breakdown.