Speech-Language Pathologists' Use of Intelligibility Measures in Adults With Dysarthria Purpose Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) who work with adults with dysarthria were surveyed to investigate trends of clinical practice for assessing speech intelligibility. Method Two hundred ninety-six SLPs responded to an online survey October 22–November 30, 2015. Results Findings showed that 35% of SLPs lacked access to ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 15, 2017
Speech-Language Pathologists' Use of Intelligibility Measures in Adults With Dysarthria
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Naomi Gurevich
    Eastern Illinois University, Charleston
  • Sydney L. Scamihorn
    Eastern Illinois University, Charleston
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Naomi Gurevich: ngurevich@eiu.edu
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Kristie Spencer
    Associate Editor: Kristie Spencer×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Dysarthria / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 15, 2017
Speech-Language Pathologists' Use of Intelligibility Measures in Adults With Dysarthria
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2017, Vol. 26, 873-892. doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-16-0112
History: Received June 16, 2016 , Revised September 26, 2016 , Accepted March 7, 2017
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2017, Vol. 26, 873-892. doi:10.1044/2017_AJSLP-16-0112
History: Received June 16, 2016; Revised September 26, 2016; Accepted March 7, 2017

Purpose Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) who work with adults with dysarthria were surveyed to investigate trends of clinical practice for assessing speech intelligibility.

Method Two hundred ninety-six SLPs responded to an online survey October 22–November 30, 2015.

Results Findings showed that 35% of SLPs lacked access to any standardized assessments of intelligibility, with 66% of these implicating cost as the main reason. Work settings played a role, as all SLPs working in Veterans Affairs hospitals and 97% of SLPs working in university or research clinics reported access to at least one formal assessment. Even with access to formal tools to measure intelligibility, most SLPs preferred less formal measures. It is surprising to note that many SLPs reported using physical examinations (e.g., of cranial nerves and oral mechanisms) to measure speech intelligibility.

Conclusions Results indicate the need to increase SLP familiarity with, and access to, currently available standardized assessments, as well as to improve education regarding the fundamental need to rate speech to assess intelligibility. Clinicians may also benefit from new standardized methods to objectively assess intelligibility that are accessible, practical, and efficient.

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