To compare the speech and voice of Parkinson's disease (PD) patients and neurologically healthy elderly adults (control group, CG), to find out whether these features are related to the disease or the normal aging process, and investigate the impact that dysarthria has on the Quality of Life (QoL) of these individuals.
This is a cross-sectional study involving 25 individuals, 13 patients with PD and 12 CG. All the participants underwent vocal assessment, perceptual and acoustic analysis, based on "Dysarthria Assessment Protocol" and analysis of QoL using a questionnaire, "Living with Dysarthria". The data underwent statistical analysis to compare the groups in each parameter.
In the assessment of dysarthria, patients with PD showed differences in prosody parameter (p=0.012), at the habitual frequency for females (p=0.025) and males (p=0.028), and the extent of intensity (p=0.039) when compared to CG. In QoL questionnaire, it was observed that patients with PD showed more negative impact on the QoL compared to CG, as indicated by the total score (p=0.005) with various aspects influencing this result.
The degree of modification of speech and voice of patients with PD resembles those seen in normal aging process, with the exception of prosody and the habitual frequency, which are related to the greatest negative impact on the QoL of patients with PD.
Parkinson's Disease; Aging; Dysarthria; Voice; Quality of Life