Many people with Parkinson's disease have speech problems, which can be overcome by instructing patients to intentionally speak louder. However, to use this technique in daily life, intensive treatment and practice is needed, which is quite a challenge for people with Parkinson's disease. Here, we will study a new, multifaceted and personalized treatment strategy provided in the patients' own home using videoconferencing and the use of a voice trainer app.
We expect that this new treatment strategy is effective in improving speech and communication in daily life, even in people in advanced disease stages.
Twelve speech-language therapists who are specifically trained to deliver the treatment will enroll a total number of 215 patients in this study. Patients will be randomly allocated to receive the new treatment or to be placed a waiting list for eight weeks. After eight weeks, we will perform measurements, and the waiting list group receives deferred treatment. The treatment group no longer receives personal care after eight weeks, but is allowed to keep using the app. Final measurements are done at 24 weeks. The treatment will be primarily evaluated on quality of life measures.
Impact on Diagnosis/Treatment of Parkinson's Disease:
This is the first study to evaluate the clinical impact of personalized speech therapy in a large group of PD patients including those with advanced PD. We expect the results to directly affect clinical practice, opening opportunities for all people with PD to improve communication, social interaction and quality of life.
Next Steps for Development:
When this study has shown that the approach is effective the next step will be large-scale implementation both nationally and internationally.