Definition

Abnormal speech is use of language that is unusual for that patient. It may be mutism, noises, incorrect or inappropriate use of language or changes in speech quality. Dysarthria is a subset of abnormal speech related to a neurological injury.

History

May require taking a history from a family member.

Quality

How has the voice changed? - Think intensity, sound quality, fluency, grammar, vocabulary

Severity

How have the speech changes affected communication?

Time Course

Onset-Offset

Did it start suddenly?

Duration

How long has this been a problem for?
How long does each episode last?

Temporal Profile

Has this happened before?
Does it come and go?

Context

Can you think of anything that caused it?
Have you hit your head on anything recently?

Aggravating Factors

Is there anything that makes it worse?

Relieving Factors

Is there anything that makes it better?

Associated Features

Have you noticed anything else with the Changes in Speech?
Have you had any of the following?

Past History

Have you ever had:

Medications

Family History

Has anybody in your family ever had:

Occupational History and Hobbies

Drug and Alcohol History

Examinations and Investigations

Imaging

  • X-ray head - if there is a suspected fracture
  • CT brain
  • MRI brain

Differential Diagnosis

Red Flags

Management

Varies depending on cause.

See also

Hoarseness