Latest news and research

Find out more about speech therapy for adults with all the latest news and developments. We’d love to hear from you, so if you have any questions or queries call, email or follow the link to Caroline Bartliff on Facebook and send me a private message. 

3rd November 2019 Therapy for voice and swallowing problems: EMST

There are many different tools and techniques speech therapists can use to help voice and swallowing problems. Expiratory Muscle Strength training (EMST) has had a growing body of research evidence that shows it can reduce food and drink entering the lungs (the term we typically use is ‘aspiration’), improve voice quality and enhance the strength of coughing. The strength of cough is important so you can more effectively eject material that has ‘gone down the wrong way’. The protocol is simple and straightforward. There are contraindications though, so people with heart problems, asthma, reflux disease we would want to look at other types of therapy.

Dr Christine Sapienza has contributed a wealth of research in this area, so check out EMST research and contact me if you would like more information. We’re using this technique in clinic with people with Parkinson’s and seeing how it might also benefit people with Atypical Parkinson’s. It’s not just for people with Parkinson’s though. The EMST150 website has lots of information explaining the benefits of respiratory therapy for singers, vocalists and people wanting to improve their breath support to increases their stamina.

 24th November 2019 How can we improve voice quality?

There are a range of voice therapy techniques which can help. Semi-Occulded Vocal Tract therapy has received a lot of attention over the years, improving resonance, voice quality and power behind the voice. It’s popular because it’s easy and effective, but what’s the evidence? The article published by Meerschman et al in September 2018 assesses 3 different therapies, lip trill, water-resistance therapy and straw phonation. All were found to improve voice quality and reduce roughness. This is mainly achieved through better airflow with relaxed muscles.  

12th January 2020 Have you heard of LSVT and how it can help people with Parkinson’s?

LSVT stands for Lee Silverman Voice Therapy; it’s the most researched and evidence based treatment for people with Parkinson’s and we owe a lot to Dr Lorraine Ramig who developed this treatment over 25 years ago. LSVT global have a wealth of information on their site which outlines research papers and testimonials. This intensive voice therapy gets to know you and works with you to establish a strength to the voice that is then accepted as being the one that people need so people can hear you. It addresses the quieter/softer voice and fast/rushed speech that holds people back from talking as people struggle to understand what has been said. Watch some of the testimonals on Youtube by following this link LSVT does it work?

1st March 2020 Video Creator?

Hello everyone, I’ve added video creator to my long list of independent speech therapist skills! My daughter persuaded me to take her to VidCon this year so I was inspired to start creating videos for clients to explain aphasia or tell the people around them about their communication needs. It has been one of the toughest learning curves yet, but as I grapple with the emotions it brings forward, hopefully the end result will be a greater understanding out there how to use conversation support to help people with aphasia. So, watch this space for videos, they are on their way!

7th March 2020

Amazing connections within the brain, this is where all of our words and memories are stored. A great description of how cells communicate with each other can be found on the Science Daily site.

19th March 2020 Singing therapy

Lots of people shy away from singing, fearing their voices aren’t good enough. Being out of tune is often joked about and can seriously undermine confidence. We all have the anatomy to sing; the group I’m involved in Sing to Beat Parkinson’s shows how easy it is to get started, using simple melodies. With the prospect of isolation due to the Coronavirus, some passionate singing leaders have taken to video to bring singing to your home. This introduction video has a short breathing exercise and 3 songs. Why not give it a go? Happy singing!