Effect of experience on judgments of adductor spasmodic dysphonia

Tanya L Eadie, Christina Nicolici, Carolyn Baylor, Kimberly Almand, Patricia Waugh, Nicole Maronian
Annals of Otology, Rhinology, and Laryngology 2007, 116 (9): 695-701

OBJECTIVES: We performed a prospective, exploratory study 1) to determine differences in judgments of overall severity (OS) and vocal effort (VE) in adductor spasmodic dysphonia (ADSD) when judgments are made by experienced listeners, naive listeners, and speakers with ADSD; 2) to determine differences in judgments of listener comfort (LC) in ADSD when judgments are made by experienced and naive listeners; and 3) to determine relationships between auditory-perceptual ratings of voice and speakers' voice handicap.

METHODS: Twenty speakers with ADSD provided speech recordings. They judged their own speech samples for OS and VE and completed the Voice Handicap Index (VHI). Twenty naive and 8 experienced listeners evaluated speech samples for OS, VE, and LC using rating scales.

RESULTS: No differences were found for judgments of OS, VE, or LC across the groups. However, the strategies used by the speakers seemed to differ from those used by the other listeners in making OS and VE judgments. The speakers' self-judged VE correlated moderately with voice handicap; experienced and naive listeners'judgments were only weakly related to VHI scores.

CONCLUSIONS: Speakers with ADSD and listeners appear to use auditory-perceptual dimensions differently. Voice handicap is best predicted by patient-perceived VE, and not by clinician or naive listeners' judgments.

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