Speech Production and Speech With a Phrenic Nerve Pacer A phrenic nerve pacer is a neural prosthesis used by some individuals with ventilatory insufficiency. This report provides a description of the phrenic nerve pacer and contains a case study of a young man in whom speech production during phrenic nerve pacing was examined and contrasted to that during mechanical ... Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus  |   May 01, 1996
Speech Production and Speech With a Phrenic Nerve Pacer
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jeannette D. Hoit
    National Center for Neurogenic Communication Disorders, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Steven A. Shea
    Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
  • Contact author: Jeannette D. Hoit, PhD, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721
    Contact author: Jeannette D. Hoit, PhD, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721×
  • Corresponding author: E-mail: jenjen@cnet.shs.arizona.edu
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Clinical Focus
Clinical Focus   |   May 01, 1996
Speech Production and Speech With a Phrenic Nerve Pacer
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 1996, Vol. 5, 53-60. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0502.53
History: Received June 19, 1995 , Accepted December 14, 1995
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 1996, Vol. 5, 53-60. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0502.53
History: Received June 19, 1995; Accepted December 14, 1995

A phrenic nerve pacer is a neural prosthesis used by some individuals with ventilatory insufficiency. This report provides a description of the phrenic nerve pacer and contains a case study of a young man in whom speech production during phrenic nerve pacing was examined and contrasted to that during mechanical (positive-pressure) ventilation. Results revealed that the physical mechanisms used to produce speech and the resultant speech output differed under these two ventilatory conditions. Listener judgments indicated that speech produced with a phrenic nerve pacer was strongly preferred over that produced with a mechanical ventilator, primarily because it was more continuous and contained fewer and shorter pauses. This continuity was due, in part, to a conservation-of-air strategy employed by the speaker. These observations have important clinical implications for speech-language pathologists responsible for enhancing spoken communication skills in clients requiring ventilatory support.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported, in part, by Clinical Investigator Development Award DC-00030, National Multipurpose Research and Training Center Grant DC-01409, and Research Grant DC-02501 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, and HL-19170 and HL-46690 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. We gratefully acknowledge the contributions of Robert Brown, Michael D. Baran, and the young man who volunteered to serve as the subject for this research. We also would like to thank Robert B. Banzett, our mentor and friend, for his invaluable guidance and support.
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