Effects of Abdominal Trussing on Breathing and Speech in Men With Cervical Spinal Cord Injury Abdominal trussing constitutes an inward fixation of the abdominal wall. In the context of speech habilitation/rehabilitation, it is sometimes used to supplant, in part, the function of a paralyzed or paretic abdominal wall. A paralyzed or paretic abdominal wall may be found in individuals with cervical spinal cord injury or ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2001
Effects of Abdominal Trussing on Breathing and Speech in Men With Cervical Spinal Cord Injury
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Peter J. Watson, PhD
    Department of Communication Sciences Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH, 44106
  • Thomas J. Hixon
    Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences and National Center for Neurogenic Communication Disorders University of Arizona Tucson
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: pjw4@po.cwru.edu
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2001
Effects of Abdominal Trussing on Breathing and Speech in Men With Cervical Spinal Cord Injury
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2001, Vol. 44, 751-762. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2001/059)
History: Received July 31, 2000 , Accepted February 9, 2001
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2001, Vol. 44, 751-762. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2001/059)
History: Received July 31, 2000; Accepted February 9, 2001
Web of Science® Times Cited: 13

Abdominal trussing constitutes an inward fixation of the abdominal wall. In the context of speech habilitation/rehabilitation, it is sometimes used to supplant, in part, the function of a paralyzed or paretic abdominal wall. A paralyzed or paretic abdominal wall may be found in individuals with cervical spinal cord injury or in individuals with other neurologic disorders, such as muscular dystrophy. This research was designed to study the effects of trussing as a clinical treatment. A study was designed to systematically and precisely place the abdominal wall at one position (50% inward) to study the effects of trussing (as compared to an untrussed condition) on lung volume and oral reading in three men with cervical spinal cord injury (C5–C6). Results showed that abdominal trussing increased vital capacity, realized via an increase of inspiratory capacity, presumably by optimization of the function of the diaphragm. With the increase in inspiratory capacity, longer utterance duration for oral reading was observed. With increased utterance duration, more syllables were produced per utterance, and pauses occurred at appropriate linguistic locations. Oral reading samples for trussed and untrussed conditions were submitted to preference judgment by a group of 10 judges. For two of the three men studied, oral reading during trussing was preferred because of longer phrases and pauses taken at suitable linguistic boundaries. The findings from this study support clinical impressions that abdominal trussing may be useful in improving speech in individuals with a paralyzed or paretic abdomen whose breathing function for speech is diminished.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported, in part, by National Multipurpose Research and Training Center Grant DC-01409 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. This article is based, in part, on a doctoral dissertation completed by the first author at the University of Arizona under the direction of the second author and, in part, on data generated at Case Western Reserve University. We give special thanks to Drs. Elizabeth Bailey, Becky Farley, Jeannette Hoit, Erwin Montgomery, and Gary Weismer for their expert counsel.
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