The Effect of Combined Respiratory Muscle Training on Dysarthric Speech Following Single Cerebrovascular Accident: A Retrospective Pilot Study

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Robert J Arnold, SLP.D, CCC-SLP Nina Bausek, PhD Christopher S Gaskill, PhD, CCC-SLP Tarek Midani, BSBME, M.Eng.


Background: Dysarthria frequently occurs as a result of stroke and adversely impacts speech sound production, making it more difficult for the listener to understand what the person with dysarthria is attempting to communicate. This in turn may lead to social isolation, depression, and increased cost of care. Some studies have underscored the importance of respiratory muscle strengthening as it relates to improvement of speech intelligibility. This retrospective investigation examined the effects of a combined Respiratory Muscle Training (cRMT) protocol upon speech intelligibility in persons post single cerebrovascular accident (CVA).

Methods: The clinical data of 10 patients who requested pro bono speech therapy for the diagnosis and treatment of dysarthria following a single stroke was utilized for this study. The intervention group was treated with three 5-minute sessions with cRMT each day for 28 consecutive days. The control group received no cRMT and no other therapeutic exercise intervention during the time period. Respiratory and speech intelligibility were assessed pre- and post-intervention in terms of peak expiratory flow, subject self-perception of intelligibility, and word level intelligibility.

Results: After 28 days of cRMT, the intervention group (IG) exhibited significant gains compared to the control group (CG) in peak expiratory flow (PEF) (IG: 73.12% vs CG: 4.66%), Self-Perception of Intelligibility (IG: 72.38% vs CG: 0.83%), and the word task of the Assessment of Intelligibility of Dysarthric Speech (AIDS) (IG: 43.92% vs. CG: 0%). 

Conclusion: These data suggest cRMT is a feasible and effective treatment for improving breath support and speech intelligibility in persons with dysarthric speech.

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How to Cite
ARNOLD, Robert J et al. The Effect of Combined Respiratory Muscle Training on Dysarthric Speech Following Single Cerebrovascular Accident: A Retrospective Pilot Study. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 11, n. 6, july 2023. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 18 apr. 2024. doi:
Research Articles


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