School of Speech, Language, Hearing and Occupational Sciences Faculty & Staff

Laurie Slovarp

Associate Professor

Contact

  • Office: Curry 031
  • Phone: (406) 243-2107
  • Fax: (406) 243-2362
  • Email: laurie.slovarp@umontana.edu
  • Office Hours:

    by appointment by email. 

    Laurie J. Slovarp, PhD, CCC-SLP is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders (CSD) at University of Montana. Dr. Slovarp received a Master’s of Science degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences from Arizona State University in 2000 and a PhD in Independent Interdisciplinary studies at University of Montana in August 2015.  Following attainment of her M.S. degree, she worked in hospital, outpatient rehabilitation, home health, skilled nursing and university settings for 10 years. She joined the CSD faculty at University of Montana in 2010.

    Dr. Slovarp is a swallowing and voice specialist with specialty training in fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) and videostroboscopy. She is the director of the Voice Outcomes and Inquiry of Cough and Essentials in Swallowing (VOICES) lab. She has published several peer-reviewed research papers and presented at multiple state and national conferences. Her current research is focused on improving care for patients with chronic cough due to cough hypersensitivity syndrome (CHS). Her research agenda focuses on the following long-term objectives:

    1. Improve efficacy, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of care of patients with chronic cough due CHS.
    2. Develop new and innovative assessment and treatment strategies that target gaps and inadequacies in current management techniques and models for patients with CHS.
    3. Understand the underlying mechanisms involved in cough hypersensitivity and behavioural cough treatment.

    Dr. Slovarp’s research has been supported through the Mountain West Clinical Translational Research Infrastructure Network (MW-CTRIN) and the Montana IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) under grants from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. She has also been awarded funding through the University of Montana Small Grant Program and the American Speech Language Hearing Association.

     

     

  • Website: https://coehs.umt.edu/departments/csd/Research/Slovarp_STRONG%20Lab.php
  • Curriculum Vitae: View/Download CV

Education

Idaho State University: Bachelor of Science, Psychology

Arizona State University: Master of Science, Speech and Hearing Sciences

University of Montana: Doctor of Philosophy, Independent Interdsciplinary Studies

Courses Taught

CSD 530 Voice, Motor Speech, and Resonance Disorders (4 cr.)

CSD 640 Swallowing Disorders (3 cr.)

CSD 331 Neuroanatomy and Physiology for Communication (3 cr.)

Teaching Experience

CSD 640 – Swallowing Disorders, UM, Spr 2012, Spr 2013, Spr 2014, Spr 2015, Spr 2016, Spr 2017, Spr 2018, Spr 2019

CSD 530 – Voice and Motor Speech Disorders, UM, F 2011, F 2012, F 2013, F 2014, F 2015, F 2016, F 2017, F 2018

CSD 411 – Neuroanatomy and Physiology, UM, Spr 2011, Su 2012, Su 2014, Spr 2016, Su 2016, Su 2017, Su 2018, Spr 2019

CSD 530 – Voice Disorders, UM, Spr 2010, Spr 2011

CSD 565 – Neurocognitive Communication Disorders in Adults, UM, F 2010

CSD 640 – Swallowing and Motor Speech Disorders, UM, F 2010

SHS 575 – Aphasia and Related Neurogenic Language Disorders, ASU, F 2004

SHS 485/598 – Acquired Speech and Language Disorders, ASU, Spr 2005

SHS 578 – Disorders of Voice, ASU, Su 2002

Research Interests

Dr. Slovarp's primary research interests are translational research in the area of chronic cough and swallowing disorders.

 

Projects

Mentored Theses Projects

  • Desensitization treatment with capsaicin for refractory chronic cough. Ongoing with Emma Bozarth
  • Factors that differentiate the success of medical versus behavioral intervention for patients with chronic cough. Defended by Bridget Walsh Spring 2016.
  • Dysphagia treatment planning: Assessing clinician’s treatment recommendations based on modified barium swallow study reports.  Defended by Jennifer Danielson Summer 2012
  • Prophylactic-dysphagia intervention for patients with head and neck cancer receiving chemoradiation therapy.  Defended by Shanna Stack Spring 2013
  • The effect of clinician-related variables on decision-making in dysphagia practice. Defended by Melissa Murphy Spring 2014

Current Ongoing Research

  • Development of a screening tool to identify patients with chronic cough who are candidates for behavioral cough therapy (BCT)
    • ​This study is currently in the second phase.  A 52-item bank of potential screening questions was developed by an expert panel.  An initial sample of 132 participants was collected on the initial screening questions before beginning BCT. The participants were classified as BCT-success and BCT-non success according to their response to BCT. A statistical model was constructed using a Gradient Boosting Machine (GBM) to predict which questions best predicted whether participants improved or not with BCT. The 15 items with the largest influence in the model were retained. We are currently collecting data on the 15-item questionnaire.  
  • Progressive desensitization paried with behavioral cough therapy for the treatment of refractory chronic cough
    • This study will employ a blinded, randomized complete block, placebo-control trial design. European Respiratory Society (ERS) Guidelines will be followed when taking the following baseline and post-treatment measures: (1) cough sensitivity testing, (2) 24-hour cough count using the Leicester Cough Monitoring technique, and (3) the Leicester Cough Questionnaire (LCQ), a validated quality of life measure. We will enroll 25 patients with RCC who have not sufficiently responded to behavioral cough therapy (BCT) alone. Patients will be randomly assigned to treatment or placebo group with one block defined by type of cough trigger (mechanical vs non-mechanical). The treatment phase will consist of six sessions, across three weeks, whereby patients will be exposed to repeated trials of either saline vapor (placebo) or capsaicin vapor (treatment). Following each exposure, participants will employ cough suppression techniques. Capsaicin dose in the treatment participants will be increased incrementally during each session, as tolerated. Post-treatment measures will be taken at one week and three-weeks post treatment. Assessors and participants will be blinded.
  • Investigating the underlying mechanism responsible for the effect of behavioral cough therapy
    • This project is in collaboration with Sarjubhai Patel, PhD who is a neuroscientist. Brush biopsies will be obtained from the nose and epiglottis (under physician supervision) of participants pre and post BCT. The biopsies will be analyzed using qPCR for TRPV mRNA expression and by Western blot analysis to measure TRPV expression. Comparisons of TRPV expression between pre and post-BCT will be quantified to assertain if BCT produces significant changes in TRPV expression at the course of intervention.
  • Establishing validity of using sEMG to measure cough frequency
    • sEMG data will be collected from four different respiratory muscles over the course of several hours and compared to objective cough frequency data to measure sensitivity and specificity.

Publications

*Denotes projects involving students.

Vertigan, A., Slovarp, L., Haines, J. (in press). Speech pathology treatment for chronic refractory cough. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.

*Slovarp, L., Bozarth, E. (2019). Altering cough reflex sensitivity with aerosolized capsaicin paired with behavioral cough suppression: A proof-of-concept study. Annals of Translational Medicine.

*Slovarp, L., Danielson, J., Liss, J. (2018). Intra-rater agreement of clinician’s treatment recommendations based on modified barium swallow study reports. Dysphagia.

       *Slovarp, L., Loomis, B., Glaspey, A. (2018). Assessing need and feasibility of a behavioral cough suppression therapy screening              tool. Chronic Respiratory Diseases.

Slovarp, L., Off, C., Liss, J., (2015). Contrasting Two Prophylactic Dysphagia Interventions for Patients with Head and Neck Cancer Treated with Radiotherapy with or without Adjunctive Chemotherapy (Dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database (ID no. 10375)

Slovarp, L., Azuma, T., & LaPointe, L. (2012). The effect of traumatic brain injury on sustained attention and working memory.  Brain Injury, 26(1), 48-57.

Affiliations

American Speech-Hearing Association (ASHA)

Montana Speech-Hearing Association (MSHA)

ASHA Special Interest Group 3: Voice and Voice Disorders

ASHA Special Interest Group 13: Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders

American Board of Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders

 

Specialized Skills

Board Certified Specialist in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (BCS-S), 2009-2018

Lee Silverman Voice Therapy (LSVT LOUD) Certified Clinician, 2011

Professional Experience

Jan 2010 – present

Department of Speech, Language, Hearing Sciences (formerly Communicative Sciences and Disorders), The University of Montana

  • Adjunct Professor (2010); Assistant Professor (2011); Associate Professor (2018)
  • Instructor for graduate courses in voice, swallowing, motor speech disorders, and undergraduate instructor for neuroanatomy
  • Clinical supervisor for voice, cough, and swallowing clinic at Rocky Mountain Ear, Nose, and Throat Center
  • Director of the VOICES (Voice Outcomes and the Inquiry of Cough and Essentials in Swallowing) lab

 

Jan 2008 – Aug 2012

 Advanced Speech Therapy, Inc., Missoula, Montana,

  • President and owner
  • Contract speech therapy services to local and surrounding nursing homes and hospitals as well as provide out-patient dysphagia and voice therapy

 

May 2005 – Jul 2016       

Community Medical Center, Missoula, Montana

  • PRN therapist, covering all adult communication and swallowing disorders in the acute, acute rehab, and outpatient setting

 

May 2005 – Sep 2008      

Evergreen Health and Rehabilitation, Western Montana

  • Therapist for long-term care facilities and rural hospitals

 

Aug 2004 – May 2005   

Arizona State University Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences

  • Clinical Assistant Professor
  • Instructor for graduate and undergraduate courses in acquired communication disorders
  • Clinical supervisor for adult communication disorders and voice disorders, including videostroboscopy

 

Apr 2004 – Apr 2005      

East Valley Speech Pathology Associates: Tempe, Arizona

  • Acute and outpatient therapist at Chandler Regional Hospital and private office
  • Home Health Therapist
  • Intern supervisor for Arizona State and Northern Arizona State University

 

Apr 2003 – Mar 2004     

Community Medical Center: Missoula, Montana (as described above)

 

Apr 2000 – Mar 2003     

East Valley Speech Pathology Associates (as described above)

 

May 2002 – June 2002   

Arizona State University Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences

  • Adjunct Professor
  • Instructor for Voice Disorders course.