Vocal quality characteristics in children with cleft palate: A multiparameter approach

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Ghent University Hospital, Belgium.
Journal of Voice (Impact Factor: 0.94). 10/2004; 18(3):354-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2003.12.006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The main purpose of the present study was to examine the vocal quality and to investigate the effects of gender on vocal quality in 28 children with a unilateral or bilateral cleft palate. In this study, the vocal quality was determined using videolaryngostroboscopic and perceptual evaluations, aerodynamic, voice range, acoustic, and dysphonia severity index (DSI) measurements. The DSI is based on the weighted combination of four voice measurements and ranges from +5 to -5 for, respectively, normal and severely dysphonic voices. Additional objectives were to compare the vocal quality characteristics of children with cleft palate with the available normative data and to investigate the impact of the cleft type on vocal quality. Gender-related vocal quality differences were found. The male cleft palate children showed an overall vocal quality of +0.62 with the presence of a perceptual slight grade of hoarseness and roughness. The female vocal quality had a DSI value of +2.4 reflecting a perceptually normal voice. Irrespective of the type of cleft, all subjects demonstrated a significantly lower DSI-value in comparison with the available normative data. The results of the present study have provided valuable insights into the vocal quality characteristics of cleft palate children.

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    • "However, procedures for speech assessment continue to vary considerably and the validity of results can still be questioned [13]. Objective means only exist for quantitative measurements of nasal emissions 14—16 and for the detection of secondary voice disorders [8] [15] [17]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Cleft lip and palate (CLP) may cause functional limitations even after adequate surgical and non-surgical treatment, speech disorders being one of them. Interindividually, they vary a lot, showing typical articulation specifics such as nasal emission and shift of articulation and therefore a diminished intelligibility. Until now, an objective means to determine and quantify the intelligibility does not exist. An automatic speech recognition system, a new method, was applied on recordings of a standard test to evaluate articulation disorders (psycholinguistic analysis of speech disorders of children PLAKSS) of 31 children at the age of 10.1+/-3.8 years. Two had an isolated cleft lip, 20 a unilateral cleft lip and palate, 4 a bilateral cleft lip and palate, and 5 an isolated cleft palate. The speech recognition system was trained with adults and children without speech disorders and adapted to the speech of children with CLP. In this study, the automatic speech evaluation focussed on the word accuracy which represents the percentage of correctly recognized words. Results were confronted to a perceptive evaluation of intelligibility that was performed by a panel of three experts. The automatic speech recognition yielded word accuracies between 1.2 and 75.8% (mean 48.0+/-19.6%). The word accuracy was lowest for children with isolated cleft palate (36.9+/-23.3) and highest for children with isolated cleft lip (72.8+/-2.9). For children with unilateral cleft lip and palate it was 48.0+/-18.6 and for children with bilateral cleft lip and palate 49.3+/-9.4. The automatic evaluation complied with the experts' subjective evaluation of intelligibility (p<0.01). The multi-rater kappa of the experts alone differed only slightly from the multi-rater kappa of experts and recognizer. Automatic speech recognition may serve as a good means to objectify and quantify global speech outcome of children with cleft lip and palate.
    International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology 11/2006; 70(10):1741-7. DOI:10.1016/j.ijporl.2006.05.016 · 1.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Attempts have been made to find objective parameters for assessing voice quality for many years. Objective measurements such as the dysphonia severity index (DSI), using four parameters (highest frequency, lowest intensity, maximum phonation time and jitter), appear to correlate well with perceptual evaluation. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence, if any, of age and gender on the DSI. The DSI of 118 non-smoking adults (69 females, 49 males, age range 20-79 years) without voice complaints was measured. Age has a significant effect on the DSI and on its parameters highest frequency and lowest intensity (only in females). Gender has no effect on the DSI, although it has a significant effect on the parameters highest frequency and maximum phonation time. To be able to distinguish between the effects of (normal) ageing and a voice disorder, normative data of a wide age range are essential. As a result of this study normative DSI values for gender and age have been made available.
    Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica 02/2006; 58(4):264-73. DOI:10.1159/000093183 · 0.55 Impact Factor
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