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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