Why is Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) useful?

By: Ali Sheperd

Posted: 26th July 2018

LSVT is an intensive voice treatment that has been developed for those with vocal weakness as a result of Parkinson’s disease. It is the ‘Gold Standard’ of voice therapy for Parkinson’s disease as it is backed by lots of evidence to prove the positive outcomes of the therapy.

A person with Parkinson’s disease may think they are talking louder than they actually are, the perception of their voice can be distorted, this causes many people with Parkinson’s disease to have a weak voice. LSVT LOUD is a programme that is delivered by trained professionals to encourage those with weak voice to ‘think LOUD’.

90% of LSVT LOUD patients report that the volume of their has improved as well as the quality and intelligibility of their voice. And, if that isn’t tempting enough, all of the trained LSVT providers must go through regular training to keep their certification so that they are providing individuals with the latest and most advanced voice therapy techniques.

Although, individuals are reminded to ‘think LOUD’ shouting is not encouraged! Throughout the whole therapy process, the speech and language therapist will ensure that good vocal hygiene is maintained so that patients do not cause any damage to their voices.

LSVT is intensive and those that have decided to take on this therapy must anticipate a lifestyle change.

The main aim of LSVT is to re-establish an average and healthy vocal volume. LSVT trains the individual to maintain their current level of functioning and provides strategies to support the individual to safely and effectively increase the volume of their voice and become more aware of their volume. Once a healthy vocal volume is achieved this can facilitate many other benefits for a person with Parkinson’s disease, for example:

Social benefits – as the individual’s voice will be within average limits the confidence to communicate with others socially will increase.

Increased confidence and reduced anxiety – the individual’s self-esteem will hopefully increase as the confidence to use their voice as a communicative tool develops.

Improved quality of life – increase use of communication in the community will allow the individual to get their needs met effectively.LSVT group therapy sessions are also provided to support the individual with maintaining their LOUD voice and problem solve any difficulties that they are experiencing. Clients have reported that the LOUD group sessions enable them to meet others in similar situations that can provide a good support base outside of therapy sessions.

Overall, Lee Silverman Voice Treatment is a useful therapeutic programme for those with Parkinson’s disease and / or weak voice, the programme not only enhances a patient’s volume of voice but provides many social and emotional benefits.

If you feel you may benefit from speech and language therapy or would like any more information on our services please email office@slt.co.uk or call 0330 088 5643.

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