Indexed on: 22 Jul '20Published on: 22 Jul '20Published in: Journal of speech, language, and hearing research : JSLHR
Purpose This study is a secondary analysis of existing data. The goal of the study was to construct an acoustic model of perceived overall severity of dysphonia in adductory laryngeal dystonia (AdLD). We predicted that acoustic measures (a) related to voice and pitch breaks and (b) related to vocal effort would form the primary elements of a model corresponding to auditory-perceptual ratings of overall severity of dysphonia. Method Twenty inexperienced listeners evaluated the overall severity of dysphonia of speech stimuli from 19 individuals with AdLD. Acoustic features related to primary signs of AdLD (hyperadduction resulting in pitch and voice breaks) and to a potential secondary symptom of AdLD (vocal effort, measures of relative fundamental frequency) were computed from the speech stimuli. Multiple linear regression analysis was applied to construct an acoustic model of the overall severity of dysphonia. Results The acoustic model included an acoustic feature related to pitch and voice breaks and three acoustic measures derived from relative fundamental frequency; it explained 84.9% of the variance in the auditory-perceptual ratings of overall severity of dysphonia in the speech samples. Conclusions Auditory-perceptual ratings of overall severity of dysphonia in AdLD were related to acoustic features of primary signs (pitch and voice breaks, hyperadduction associated with laryngeal spasms) and were also related to acoustic features of vocal effort. This suggests that compensatory vocal effort may be a secondary symptom in AdLD. Future work to generalize this acoustic model to a larger, independent data set is necessary before clinical translation is warranted.