Title

Speech-Language Pathologists' Use of Intelligibility Measures in Adults With Dysarthria

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-15-2017

Publication Source

American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology

Volume

26

Issue

3

Inclusive pages

873-892

DOI

10.1044/2017_AJSLP-16-0112

Abstract

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.

Disciplines

Communication Sciences and Disorders | Speech and Hearing Science | Speech Pathology and Audiology

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