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Rehabilitation Research and Practice
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 839895, 11 pages
Research Article

Subjective Experiences of Speech and Language Therapy in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease: A Pilot Study

1College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
2School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, College of Medicine and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
3Division of Health and Social Care, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, King’s College, 7th Floor Capital House, 42 Weston Street, London SE1 3QD, UK

Received 19 January 2015; Revised 10 June 2015; Accepted 24 June 2015

Academic Editor: Ching-Yi Wu

Copyright © 2015 Laura Spurgeon et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. Parkinson’s disease can produce a range of speech-language pathologies, which may require intervention. While evaluations of speech-language therapy have been undertaken, no work has been undertaken to capture patients’ experiences of therapy. This was the aim of the present study. Methods. Semistructured interviews, using themes derived from the literature, were conducted with nine Parkinson’s disease patients, all of whom had undergone speech-language therapy. Participants’ responses were analysed in accordance with Thematic Network Analysis. Results. Four themes emerged: emotional reactions (frustration, embarrassment, lack of confidence, disappointment, and anxiety); physical impact (fatigue, breathing and swallowing, and word production); practical aspects (cost of treatment, waiting times, and the actual clinical experience); and expectations about treatment (met versus unmet). Conclusions. While many benefits of speech-language therapy were reported, several negative issues emerged which could impact adversely on rehabilitation. Parkinson’s disease is associated with a range of psychological and physical sequelae, such as fatigue and depression; recognising any individual experiences which could exacerbate the existing condition and incorporating these into treatment planning may improve rehabilitation outcomes.