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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Jackie Gartner-Schmidt and Amanda I. Gillespie receive compensation from MedBridge for this course. They are co-investigators of R03 DC015305-01, an NIH grant on conversation training therapy. Non-Financial: Jackie Gartner-Schmidt and Amanda Gillespie have no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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Video Runtime: 63 Minutes, Learning Assessments: 33 Minutes

Conversation Training Therapy (CTT) is a new voice treatment approach based on theories of motor learning. CTT eliminates the therapeutic hierarchy and treats a patient's voice problem using patient-driven conversation as the sole therapeutic stimulus. CTT has demonstrated efficacy in patients with muscle tension dysphonia and benign vocal fold lesions. This course will introduce the student to the scientific underpinnings of CTT and the primary therapeutic tenets of CTT, as well as provide practical troubleshooting tips.

Meet Your Instructors

Jackie Gartner-Schmidt, PhD, CCC-SLP, ASHA Fellow

Jackie Gartner-Schmidt, PhD, CCC-SLP, ASHA Fellow, is co-director of the University of Pittsburgh Voice Center, professor of otolaryngology, and director of Speech-Language Pathology-Voice Division at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Gartner-Schmidt's 25-year clinical and research focus specializes on care of the professional voice, as well as clinical effectiveness of voice therapy, and respiratory…

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Amanda I. Gillespie, PhD, CCC-SLP

Dr. Amanda I. Gillespie is an Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology at the Emory University School of Medicine, Director of Speech Pathology, and Co-Director of the Emory Voice Center. She earned an undergraduate degree in speech-language pathology and audiology from New York University and a Master of Science in speech-language pathology from the University of Pittsburgh.…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Traditional Voice Therapy

Data collected from patients indicates that transfer of target voice techniques to everyday voice use (i.e., conversation) is the most difficult aspect of therapy. Traditional voice therapy programs, however, spend little, if any, time training voice techniques in conversation. This chapter will provide an overview of principles of motor learning and how they apply to, and may be violated by, traditional voice therapy programs that do not address voice use in conversation.

2. Development of Conversation Training Therapy and Part One of CTT Tenets With Live Demonstration

CTT targets voice techniques in conversation in the first session and throughout all sessions. This chapter will discuss how CTT was developed, including pilot data findings. The tenets of CTT will also be discussed. CTT is based around the use of the “clear speech” technique. Layered on that technique are negative practice, embedded basic training gestures, prosody and pauses, auditory and kinesthetic awareness, and patient-clinician rapport. These tenets will be discussed in detail in this chapter. Live demonstration of all tenets will be provided.

3. Part Two of CTT Tenets With Live Demonstration

The discussion on the tenets of CTT will continue in this chapter. CTT is based around the use of the “clear speech” technique. A few of the tenets layered on that technique are prosody and pauses, embedded basic training gestures, and patient-clinician rapport. These tenets will be discussed in detail in this chapter. Live demonstration of the tenets will also be provided.

4. Appropriate Candidates for CTT

This chapter will provide information on appropriate referrals for CTT treatment. Stimulability (a person’s ability to change behavior when provided with a model or cue), as it refers to voice, will be introduced. Students will learn how common voice assessment techniques can be used to determine if a patient is stimulable for voice change using CTT. Research findings regarding stimulability for voice change will be reviewed.

5. CTT Efficacy Data

A prospective trial of the efficacy of CTT in the treatment of patients with muscle tension dysphonia and benign vocal fold lesions was recently completed. Results from this study will be shared.

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