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Kourtney Wathen, Sally Gallena, Ph.D., Cindy Nichols, Lauren Dorris

The Effect of Aphasia Chorus on Voice and Speech in Persons with Aphasia

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Aphasia chorus is gaining popularity in the field of speech-language pathology for its impact on patient quality-of-life through music and community with others. However, little is known about the effects of aphasia chorus on aspects of voice and speech in persons with aphasia (PwA). The purpose of this study was to measure change in voice quality and speech fluency in PwA who attend aphasia chorus as part of a weekly intensive aphasia program at Loyola Clinical Centers. We used a within-subjects pre/post design consisting of patient interview, voice and speech analyses. Eligible participants were consented using an aphasia-friendly form requiring yes/no questions. After baseline data were collected, PwA attended nine chorus sessions whereby each session included a structured vocal warm-up that incorporated evidence-based treatments, followed by singing three songs under three conditions: background music with words and vocals, karaoke version, and a cappella. This work is currently being conducted and analysis of the results will be completed by December 2019.

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