COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Quantitative analysis of professionally trained versus untrained voices

Nora Siupsinskiene
Medicina 2003, 39 (1): 36-46
12576764
The aim of this study was to compare healthy trained and untrained voices as well as healthy and dysphonic trained voices in adults using combined voice range profile and aerodynamic tests, to define the normal range limiting values of quantitative voice parameters and to select the most informative quantitative voice parameters for separation between healthy and dysphonic trained voices. Three groups of persons were evaluated. One hundred eighty six healthy volunteers were divided into two groups according to voice training: non-professional speakers group consisted of 106 untrained voices persons (36 males and 70 females) and professional speakers group--of 80 trained voices persons (21 males and 59 females). Clinical group consisted of 103 dysphonic professional speakers (23 males and 80 females) with various voice disorders. Eighteen quantitative voice parameters from combined voice range profile (VRP) test were analyzed: 8 of voice range profile, 8 of speaking voice, overall vocal dysfunction degree and coefficient of sound, and aerodynamic maximum phonation time. Analysis showed that healthy professional speakers demonstrated expanded vocal abilities in comparison to healthy non-professional speakers. Quantitative voice range profile parameters- pitch range, high frequency limit, area of high frequencies and coefficient of sound differed significantly between healthy professional and non-professional voices, and were more informative than speaking voice or aerodynamic parameters in showing the voice training. Logistic stepwise regression revealed that VRP area in high frequencies was sufficient to discriminate between healthy and dysphonic professional speakers for male subjects (overall discrimination accuracy--81.8%) and combination of three quantitative parameters (VRP high frequency limit, maximum voice intensity and slope of speaking curve) for female subjects (overall model discrimination accuracy--75.4%). We concluded that quantitative voice assessment with selected parameters might be useful for evaluation of voice education for healthy professional speakers as well as for detection of vocal dysfunction and evaluation of rehabilitation effect in dysphonic professionals.

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