The Impact of Dysphonic Voices on Healthy Listeners: Listener Reaction Times, Speech Intelligibility, and Listener Comprehension Purpose There is currently minimal information on the impact of dysphonia secondary to phonotrauma on listeners. Considering the high incidence of voice disorders with professional voice users, it is important to understand the impact of a dysphonic voice on their audiences. Methods Ninety-one healthy listeners (39 men, 52 ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 01, 2016
The Impact of Dysphonic Voices on Healthy Listeners: Listener Reaction Times, Speech Intelligibility, and Listener Comprehension
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Paul M. Evitts
    Towson University, MD
    Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  • Heather Starmer
    Stanford University School of Medicine, CA
  • Kristine Teets
    Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  • Christen Montgomery
    Towson University, MD
  • Lauren Calhoun
    Towson University, MD
  • Allison Schulze
    Towson University, MD
  • Jenna MacKenzie
    Towson University, MD
  • Lauren Adams
    Towson University, MD
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Paul M. Evitts: pevitts@towson.edu
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Preeti Sivasankar
    Associate Editor: Preeti Sivasankar×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Articles
Research Article   |   November 01, 2016
The Impact of Dysphonic Voices on Healthy Listeners: Listener Reaction Times, Speech Intelligibility, and Listener Comprehension
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2016, Vol. 25, 561-575. doi:10.1044/2016_AJSLP-14-0183
History: Received October 20, 2014 , Revised April 11, 2015 , Accepted March 31, 2016
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2016, Vol. 25, 561-575. doi:10.1044/2016_AJSLP-14-0183
History: Received October 20, 2014; Revised April 11, 2015; Accepted March 31, 2016

Purpose There is currently minimal information on the impact of dysphonia secondary to phonotrauma on listeners. Considering the high incidence of voice disorders with professional voice users, it is important to understand the impact of a dysphonic voice on their audiences.

Methods Ninety-one healthy listeners (39 men, 52 women; mean age = 23.62 years) were presented with speech stimuli from 5 healthy speakers and 5 speakers diagnosed with dysphonia secondary to phonotrauma. Dependent variables included processing speed (reaction time [RT] ratio), speech intelligibility, and listener comprehension. Voice quality ratings were also obtained for all speakers by 3 expert listeners.

Results Statistical results showed significant differences between RT ratio and number of speech intelligibility errors between healthy and dysphonic voices. There was not a significant difference in listener comprehension errors. Multiple regression analyses showed that voice quality ratings from the Consensus Assessment Perceptual Evaluation of Voice (Kempster, Gerratt, Verdolini Abbott, Barkmeier-Kraemer, & Hillman, 2009) were able to predict RT ratio and speech intelligibility but not listener comprehension.

Conclusions Results of the study suggest that although listeners require more time to process and have more intelligibility errors when presented with speech stimuli from speakers with dysphonia secondary to phonotrauma, listener comprehension may not be affected.

Acknowledgments
The authors would like to first thank all of the participants for volunteering their time and voices to this study. The authors would like to also extend a sincere thank you to Barbara Messing of the Greater Baltimore Medical Center for acting as an expert listener and to Dr. Mary Carter, Towson University, for her expert statistical assistance. The authors would also like to thank Dr. Krista Wilkinson and Dr. Preeti Sivasankar along with two other anonymous reviewers for their thoughtful and supportive edits on previous versions of this manuscript. Portions of this article were presented at the annual convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Chicago, IL in 2013.
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