Enhancing intervention for residual rhotic errors via app-delivered biofeedback: A case study

Tara Mc Allister Byun, Heather Campbell, Helen Carey, Wendy Liang, Tae Hong Park, Mario Svirsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Recent research suggests that visual-acoustic biofeedback can be an effective treatment for residual speech errors, but adoption remains limited due to barriers including high cost and lack of familiarity with the technology. This case study reports results from the first participant to complete a course of visual-acoustic biofeedback using a not-for-profit iOS app, Speech Therapist’s App for /r/ Treatment. Method: App-based biofeedback treatment for rhotic misarticulation was provided in weekly 30-min sessions for 20 weeks. Within-treatment progress was documented using clinician perceptual ratings and acoustic measures. Generalization gains were assessed using acoustic measures of word probes elicited during baseline, treatment, and maintenance sessions. Results: Both clinician ratings and acoustic measures indicated that the participant significantly improved her rhotic production accuracy in trials elicited during treatment sessions. However, these gains did not transfer to generalization probes. Conclusions: This study provides a proof-of-concept demonstration that app-based biofeedback is a viable alternative to costlier dedicated systems. Generalization of gains to contexts without biofeedback remains a challenge that requires further study. App-delivered biofeedback could enable clinician–research partnerships that would strengthen the evidence base while providing enhanced treatment for children with residual rhotic errors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1810-1817
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number6Special Issue
StatePublished - 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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