The Effect of Increased Vocal Effort on Estimated Velopharyngeal Orifice Area Velopharyngeal deficits are a common component of dysarthria following neurogenic insults. Compensatory strategies may minimize the impact of velopharyngeal deficits on speech production. Velopharyngeal airway resistance measures were obtained for 28 subjects with traumatic brain injury. The measures were converted to velopharyngeal orifice area estimates. Data are reported for the ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 01, 1997
The Effect of Increased Vocal Effort on Estimated Velopharyngeal Orifice Area
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Monica A. McHenry
    Galveston Institute of Human Communication Transitional Learning Community
  • Contact author: Monica A. McHenry, Galveston Institute of Human Communication, Transitional Learning Community, 1528 Postoffice St., Galveston, TX 77553 Email: mmchenry@tlc-galveston.org
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Traumatic Brain Injury / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Articles
Research Article   |   November 01, 1997
The Effect of Increased Vocal Effort on Estimated Velopharyngeal Orifice Area
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 1997, Vol. 6, 55-61. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0604.55
History: Received June 20, 1997 , Accepted September 3, 1997
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 1997, Vol. 6, 55-61. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0604.55
History: Received June 20, 1997; Accepted September 3, 1997

Velopharyngeal deficits are a common component of dysarthria following neurogenic insults. Compensatory strategies may minimize the impact of velopharyngeal deficits on speech production. Velopharyngeal airway resistance measures were obtained for 28 subjects with traumatic brain injury. The measures were converted to velopharyngeal orifice area estimates. Data are reported for the subjects' habitual loudness and for increased vocal effort. Eighty-nine percent of the subjects decreased velopharyngeal orifice area by increasing vocal effort. The decrease ranged from 0.10 mm2 to 20.19 mm2. In several cases, the change would likely affect perceived hypernasality. The reduction in velopharyngeal orifice area with increased vocal effort reflects an ability to compensate for velopharyngeal deficits, as well as a generalization of effects across the speech mechanism. Programs such as the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment, designed to establish high phonatory effort, may be of benefit.

Author Note
This work was supported by Grants 94-23 and 96-2 from the Moody Foundation of Galveston, Texas. A preliminary version of the paper was presented at the Canadian Speech-Language-Hearing Association 1995 annual convention in Ottawa, Canada.
The technical assistance of John Minton, Lois Patterson, and Yolanda Post is gratefully acknowledged. David Zajac, Steven Barlow, and anonymous reviewers provided valuable input. The author is also greatly indebted to John Riski for his support and encouragement.
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