Assessment of motor speech disorders online: a pilot study

J Telemed Telecare. 2003;9 Suppl 2:S66-8. doi: 10.1258/135763303322596318.


We have conducted a preliminary validation of an Internet-based telehealth application for assessing motor speech disorders in adults with acquired neurological impairment. The videoconferencing module used NetMeeting software to provide realtime videoconferencing through a 128 kbit/s Internet link, as well as the transfer of store-and-forward video and audio data from the participant to the clinician. Ten participants with dysarthria following acquired brain injury were included in the study. An assessment of the overall severity of the speech disturbance was made for each participant face to face (FTF) and in the online environment; in addition, a 23-item version of the Frenchay Dysarthria Assessment (FDA) (which measures motor speech function) and the Assessment of Intelligibility of Dysarthric Speech (ASSIDS) (which gives the percentage word and sentence intelligibility, words per minute and a rating of communication efficiency) were administered in both environments. There was a 90% level of agreement between the two assessment environments for the rating of overall severity of dysarthria. A 70-100% level of agreement was achieved for 17 (74%) of the 23 FDA variables. On the ASSIDS there was a significant difference between the FTF and online assessments only for percentage word intelligibility. These findings suggest that Internet-based assessment has potential as a reliable method for assessing motor speech disorders.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Injuries / complications
  • Dysarthria / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Remote Consultation*
  • Speech Articulation Tests / methods