ABSTRACT: To determine (a) the effect of fundamental frequency (f₀) on speech intelligibility, acceptability, and perceived gender in electrolaryngeal (EL) speakers, and (b) the effect of known gender on speech acceptability in EL speakers.
A 2-part study was conducted. In Part 1, 34 healthy adults provided speech recordings using electrolarynges set at 75 Hz, 130 Hz, and 175 Hz, and 36 listeners transcribed the recordings. In Part 2, 22 speech samples were presented to 16 listeners. First, listeners identified the gender of each speaker and judged his or her speech acceptability using rating scales. Second, listeners judged the same samples for speech acceptability when gender information was provided.
In Part 1, speakers were significantly more intelligible when using 75-Hz devices. In Part 2, the f₀ of the speech signal significantly impacted listeners' accuracy in perceiving the speaker's gender: In gender-incongruent conditions (males using 175-Hz devices, females using 75-Hz devices), listeners were unable to identify female speakers. Speech acceptability judgments were directly related to intelligibility. Finally, listeners differentially penalized female speakers who used 75-Hz devices when gender information was known.
Low f₀ facilitated speech intelligibility. However, at low f₀, listeners were unable to identify females as female, and females were differentially penalized for speech acceptability. Results may have implications for rehabilitation.
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology 02/2012; 21(2):154-66. · 2.03 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: To investigate how ways of coping and traditional factors (age, sex, time postlaryngectomy, stage of disease, radiation, alaryngeal speech method) predict global quality of life, head and neck cancer-specific quality of life, and voice-related quality-of-life outcomes after total laryngectomy.
University-based laboratory and speech clinic.
Sixty-seven individuals who underwent total laryngectomy secondary to cancer were recruited from support groups and professional contacts. Individuals were at minimum 9 months postlaryngectomy. All outcomes were patient reported and included demographic data as well as a number of validated questionnaires: the Ways of Coping-Cancer Version (WOC-CV) scale, the Voice-Related Quality of Life (V-RQOL) scale, and the University of Washington Quality of Life (UW-QOL) composite and global QOL scores.
Fifty-three individuals identified a stressful aspect of their laryngectomy. As a set, traditional variables (age, time postlaryngectomy, alaryngeal speech method) accounted for only 5% of global QOL scores but between 25% and 30% of the variance of composite UW-QOL and V-RQOL scores. Time postlaryngectomy was the strongest traditional predictor. Ways of coping accounted for 23% to 32% of all QOL scores. Avoidant coping strategies (both cognitive and behavioral escape) were among the strongest predictors of poorer QOL. When traditional variables were combined with ways of coping, they together accounted for 26% to 46% of the variance of QOL outcomes.
Coping is important to consider when evaluating postlaryngectomy outcomes, above and beyond traditionally investigated factors.
Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery 02/2012; 146(6):959-65. · 1.72 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine whether: (a) inexperienced listeners can reliably judge listener effort and (b) whether listener effort provides unique information beyond speech intelligibility or acceptability in tracheoesophageal speech. Twenty inexperienced listeners made judgments of speech acceptability and amount of effort required to listen to 14 male tracheoesophageal speakers using a paired comparison paradigm. Intelligibility was controlled to limit the analysis to the relationship between ratings of listener effort and speech acceptability. Results showed that as a group, inexperienced listeners reliably rated both speech acceptability and listener effort. In addition, ratings of speech acceptability and listener effort were strongly correlated (r>.99); however, there was evidence that some individual listeners assigned different ratings for each dimension for the same speech samples. Results have important implications for communication success for tracheoesophageal speakers. LEARNING OUTCOMES: Readers will be able to describe: (a) the measurement of listener burden in speech and (b) the differences and relationships among listener effort, speech acceptability and speech intelligibility.
Journal of Communication Disorders 01/2012; 45(3):235-45. · 1.76 Impact Factor