Remediating RSEs with traditional & UVF treatment (Preston et al., 2019)

Purpose: The aim of the study was to examine how ultrasound visual feedback (UVF) treatment impacts speech sound learning in children with residual speech errors affecting /ɹ/.
Method: Twelve children, ages 9–14 years, received treatment for vocalic /ɹ/ errors in a multiple-baseline across-subjects design comparing 8 sessions of UVF treatment and 8 sessions of traditional (no-biofeedback) treatment. All participants were exposed to both treatment conditions, with order counterbalanced across participants. To monitor progress, naïve listeners rated the accuracy of vocalic /ɹ/ in untreated words.
Results: After the first 8 sessions, children who received UVF were judged to produce more accurate vocalic /ɹ/ than those who received traditional treatment. After the second 8 sessions, within-participant comparisons revealed individual variation in treatment response. However, group-level comparisons revealed greater accuracy in children whose treatment order was UVF followed by traditional treatment versus children who received the reverse treatment order.
Conclusion: On average, 8 sessions of UVF were more effective than 8 sessions of traditional treatment for remediating vocalic /ɹ/ errors. Better outcomes were also observed when UVF was provided in the early rather than later stages of learning. However, there remains a significant individual variation in response to UVF and traditional treatment, and larger group-level studies are needed.

Supplemental Material S1. Interaction between baseline accuracy and midpoint accuracy (following Phase I of treatment) for children starting in ultrasound visual feedback (left panel) and children starting in traditional treatment (right panel).

Supplemental Material S2. Interaction between baseline accuracy and accuracy during the maintenance phase (following Phase II of treatment) for children starting in ultrasound visual feedback (left panel) and children starting in traditional treatment (right panel).

Supplemental Material S3. 50-word probe list, eliciting /ɹ/ in untrained words in a range of phonetic contexts was administered in all baseline, midpoint, and maintenance sessions.

Preston, J. L., McAllister, T., Phillips, E., Boyce, S., Tiede, M., Kim, J. S., & Whalen, D. H. (2019). Remediating residual rhotic errors with traditional and ultrasound-enhanced treatment: A single-case experimental study. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 28, 1167–1183. https://doi.org/10.1044/2019_AJSLP-18-0261