Do participants report any undesired effects in ultrasound speech therapy?

Jonathan L. Preston, Gabriela Holliman-Lopez, Megan C. Leece

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/Debate/Erratumpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: Ultrasound visual feedback of the tongue is increasingly used as a component of speech therapy in clinical research and practice. The purpose is to offer a preliminary summary of the nature of participant-reported undesired effects related to ultrasound visual feedback. Method: Sixty-two participants across 3 sites (mean age = 11.9 years) and 38 parents responded to a 2-item verbal questionnaire following 14–16 hr of treatment regarding any aspects of the treatment they did not like. Responses were thematically categorized. Results: The 62 participants provided 65 distinct responses, which were categorized as follows: 31% no concerns, 40% gel-related (e.g., cold, sticky), 21% positioning of the probe (e.g., uncomfortable, annoying), 3% chin hurting (qualified as being minor in nature), and 5% other (i.e., unrelated to the use of the ultrasound). Responses from all parents suggested no concerns about the use of ultrasound; however, 8% expressed concerns unrelated to ultrasound use (e.g., fatigue). Conclusion: These data inform clinicians and researchers about participant’s experience and highlight the type of comments most likely to be encountered with ultrasound in speech therapy. Although the reported adverse effects can be considered minor, they should be weighed against the potential benefits of visual feedback in treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)813-818
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of speech-language pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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