[Vocal perception and life quality]

Silvia Tieko Kasama, Alcione Ghedini Brasolotto
Pró-fono: Revista de Atualização Científica 2007, 19 (1): 19-28

BACKGROUND: the perception of dysphonia and the impact of vocal alteration on life quality.

AIM: to verify if the interference of dysphonia on life quality is related to the vocal self-perception of dysphonic individuals and to the perception members of the community have about the vocal pleasantness of these individuals.

METHODS: 31 dysphonic adults, prior to treatment, filled out the Voice Related Quality of Life (V-RQOL) protocol that analyzes the impact of dysphonia on life quality. These individuals were also asked to comment about their self-perception of vocal quality. Recordings of the sustained "a" vowel and number counting from one to ten were made, using a digital system in an acoustic treated environment. The recorded material was presented to 25 judges, with no training in vocal perception, so that they could classify the voices according to the same scale used by the dysphonic individuals when commenting about their own voices.

RESULTS: according to Spearman's test, a statistically significant correlation was observed between the results of the V-RQOL and the vocal self-perception related to the social/emotional (p = 0.047), physical (0 = 0.010) and total (p = 0.008) domains. However there was no correlation between the results of the V-RQOL and the perception of the judges, both for the sustained "a" vowel and for the number counting (p = 0.475 e p = 0.152 respectively).

CONCLUSION: it was observed that the worst the opinion of the dysphonic individual about the impact of dysphonia on life quality, the worst was his vocal self-perception. A relationship between the life quality of the dysphonic individual and the vocal perception of listeners was not observed.

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