Maximum phonation time in healthy older adults

J Voice. 2011 Nov;25(6):709-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2010.10.002. Epub 2011 Mar 25.


Objectives/hypothesis: Maximum phonation time (MPT), a clinical measurement of the longest time one can phonate a vowel, typically /a/, is a frequently used measure of vocal function, but normative data are lacking for MPT in healthy older adults. The aim of this study was to provide data on MPT in healthy older adults and to determine the effect of advanced age, gender, and repeated measures on MPT.

Study design: Prospective.

Methods: Sixty-nine healthy older adult volunteers participated (ie, 15, 26, and 28 in the seventh, eighth, and ninth decades of life, respectively). The effects of age, gender, and repeated measures (three trials in a single session) on MPT were assessed. Mean, standard deviation, compound symmetry covariance, analysis of variance, and analysis of covariance were used for statistical analysis.

Results: Neither age group, gender, trial, nor their interactions was statistically significant (P>0.05). Adults in the seventh, eighth, and ninth decades of life had mean MPTs of 22.27 (standard error [SE]=1.56), 22.97 (SE=1.11), and 21.14 (SE=0.97) seconds, respectively. Females and males had mean MPTs of 20.96 (SE=0.92) and 23.23 (SE=0.96) seconds, respectively. Finally, MPTs for trials 1, 2, and 3 were 21.77 (SE=1.09), 21.67 (SE=1.12), and 22.80 (SE=1.27), respectively.

Conclusions: MPTs were longer in this group of older adults than previously reported and did not vary significantly with age or gender. Additionally, across a single short sampling session, measurements were relatively stable across three trials of MPTs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phonation*
  • Sex Factors
  • Time Factors