What is it about?

Speech pathologists can use rating scales as tools to track vocal status and how treatment is progressing. However, there is no objective acoustic measure that has been correlated with vocal status in daily voice use. It would be helpful to the field of speech pathology to develop an objective voice measure that could identify differences in vocal status during a patient’s daily life, and that's what this project aimed to do. For this study, we used a new acoustic measure called the Daily Phonotrauma Index, or DPI. The DPI is an estimation of the theorized cause of phono-traumatic voice disorders. Broadly, it estimates the abruptness of vocal fold closure as well as the collision and aerodynamic forces of the vocal folds. This study looked at how the DPI behaved when the patients rated stable periods of good vocal status compared to stable periods of bad vocal status ratings in their daily life.

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Why is it important?

After analyzing 99 weeks' worth of data, we found that the DPI significantly improved during the stable periods of good vocal status ratings and vice-versa. Thus, the DPI does indeed estimate the accumulation of excessive vocal trauma that can cause voice disorders such as phonotraumatic vocal hyperfunction. The data also tells us that the presence of phonotrauma associated with voice disorders can significantly influence a patient's vocal status ratings. This research has implications for our ability to objectively quantify voice use that is at risk to lead to, or perpetuate, a voice disorder. Future work can apply the DPI to voice biofeedback.

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This page is a summary of: Daily Phonotrauma Index: An Objective Indicator of Large Differences in Self-Reported Vocal Status in the Daily Life of Females With Phonotraumatic Vocal Hyperfunction, American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, May 2022, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA),
DOI: 10.1044/2022_ajslp-21-00285.
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