Ultrasound as visual feedback in speech habilitation: exploring consultative use in rural British Columbia, Canada

Clin Linguist Phon. 2008 Feb;22(2):149-62. doi: 10.1080/02699200701801225.


Ultrasound has shown promise as a visual feedback tool in speech therapy. Rural clients, however, often have minimal access to new technologies. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate consultative treatment using ultrasound in rural communities. Two speech-language pathologists (SLPs) trained in ultrasound use provided consultation with ultrasound in rural British Columbia to 13 school-aged children with residual speech impairments. Local SLPs provided treatment without ultrasound before and after the consultation. Speech samples were transcribed phonetically by independent trained listeners. Eleven children showed greater gains in production of the principal target /[image omitted]/ after the ultrasound consultation. Four of the seven participants who received more consultation time with ultrasound showed greatest improvement. Individual client factors also affected outcomes. The current study was a quasi-experimental clinic-based study. Larger, controlled experimental studies are needed to provide ultimate evaluation of the consultative use of ultrasound in speech therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • British Columbia
  • Child
  • Feedback*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mouth / diagnostic imaging*
  • Phonetics
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Rehabilitation*
  • Rural Population*
  • Speech Production Measurement
  • Speech Therapy
  • Speech*
  • Speech-Language Pathology / organization & administration
  • Tongue / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ultrasonography
  • Visual Perception*