11 July 2024

RCSLT responds to new study comparing speech therapies for people with Parkinson’s

A new study, published today (11.7.24) by the BMJ, highlights the benefits of Lee Silverman Voice Therapy (LSVT LOUD) as an intervention for people with Parkinson’s who have speech difficulties. The study found that a group receiving LSVT LOUD self-reported more progress with their voice than those receiving standard NHS speech and language therapy, or no speech and language therapy intervention at all.

The story has been covered across a wide range of UK print, broadcast, and online media and the RCSLT has issued the following comment to the press:

RCSLT Chief Executive Steve Jamieson said: “We welcome robust research that explores different speech and language therapy approaches and benefits people with communication needs.

“While some NHS speech and language therapy services currently provide Lee Silverman Voice Therapy, we know that many are unable to do so, due to funding restraints and ongoing speech and language therapy workforce issues. If people with communication difficulties associated with Parkinson’s and other medical conditions are to access the vital evidence-based speech and language therapy they need, we must have more investment in the profession.”

The RCSLT stresses that voice therapy is only one component of the package of care speech and language therapists can provide for people with Parkinson’s. Other areas may include support to use alternative or augmentative forms of communication (AAC), or to support people with eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties, for example.

The RCSLT and Parkinson’s UK are currently jointly developing guidance for speech and language therapists who support people with Parkinson’s.