The dysphonia severity index: an objective measure of vocal quality based on a multiparameter approach

J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2000 Jun;43(3):796-809. doi: 10.1044/jslhr.4303.796.


The vocal quality of a patient is modeled by means of a Dysphonia Severity Index (DSI), which is designed to establish an objective and quantitative correlate of the perceived vocal quality. The DSI is based on the weighted combination of the following selected set of voice measurements: highest frequency (F(0)-High in Hz), lowest intensity (I-Low in dB), maximum phonation time (MPT in s), and jitter (%). The DSI is derived from a multivariate analysis of 387 subjects with the goal of describing, purely based on objective measures, the perceived voice quality. It is constructed as DSI = 0.13 x MPT + 0.0053 x F(0)-High - 0.26 x I-Low - 1.18 x Jitter (%) + 12.4. The DSI for perceptually normal voices equals +5 and for severely dysphonic voices -5. The more negative the patient's index, the worse is his or her vocal quality. As such, the DSI is especially useful to evaluate therapeutic evolution of dysphonic patients. Additionally, there is a high correlation between the DSI and the Voice Handicap Index score.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Speech Acoustics
  • Voice / physiology
  • Voice Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Voice Quality*