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Vocal Range Variations Elicited With a Standard Mandarin Reading Passage in Individuals With Voice Disorders.

PURPOSE: This study examined whether the "Three Bears Passage" (TB), a standard Mandarin reading passage, could elicit significant vocal range variations in individuals with voice disorders. Relative sensitivity of TB versus another existing standard reading passage, "Passage in Mandarin" (PM), for differentiating between individuals with and without voice disorders was also evaluated.

METHOD: Forty-two individuals with normal voice and 30 individuals with voice disorders participated in the study. Maximum fundamental frequency ( f 0 ), minimum f 0 , mean f 0 , f 0 range, maximum vocal intensity, minimum intensity, mean intensity, and intensity range of all participants reading aloud the two passages were measured with Praat to construct speech range profiles (SRPs).

RESULTS: Significantly larger vocal range was found for TB than for PM in individuals with voice disorders, including significantly higher maximum f 0 , mean f 0 , maximum intensity, mean intensity, and significantly larger f 0 range and intensity range. Significantly more limited vocal range was observed in individuals with voice disorders than those without, with more obviously restricted SRPs while reading aloud TB compared to PM. Receiver operating characteristic analysis suggested that TB was more sensitive than PM in distinguishing between individuals with and without voice disorders.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings supported the potential of TB as a standard clinical assessment tool for evaluating pathological changes in vocal range. Future studies should explore if therapeutic approaches based on the passage or variations of it could be developed for overcoming functional limitations and restrictions in vocal range for specific voice disorders.

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