The effect of speaking task on perceptual judgment of the severity of dysphonic voice

J Voice. 2005 Dec;19(4):574-81. doi: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2004.08.009.


This study investigated the effect of speaking task on auditory-perceptual judgment of the severity of dysphonia. Three speech-language pathologists experienced in evaluating of disordered voices rated 29 recorded speakers, each of whom produced speech elicited via the same three tasks: sustained vowel /a/, oral reading of a standard passage, and connected speech describing a standard picture. Stimuli were played in sound field, and raters used direct magnitude estimation with a visual analog scale. A repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed a statistically significant (P < .05) effect of speaking task, with post hoc analyses that indicate a statistically significant difference between ratings for the sustained vowel versus connected speech elicited via picture description (P < .05). No statistically significant difference in ratings was found between oral reading and picture description or between oral reading and the sustained vowel. The ANOVA also revealed a statistically significant difference among raters (P < 0.001), but no statistically significant task by rater interaction. Possible reasons for an effect of speaking task are discussed. Also, the implications of one task for determination of dysphonic severity are discussed, as is the possibility of a task effect when determining other clinically useful vocal parameters.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Clinical Competence
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Speech Acoustics
  • Speech Perception*
  • Speech-Language Pathology
  • Voice Disorders / classification
  • Voice Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Voice Quality*