Background: Symptoms of Voice Disorders involve a disruption in the loudness, pitch, and/or quality of an individual’s voice when attempting to talk or sing. This disruption may result in an inability to communicate effectively. Pain, increased effort to create sound, and fatigue are symptoms that accompany voice difficulties. Although there are well-validated instruments for measuring sound impairment (acoustic and aerodynamic measures) and functional problems of the voice system, the degree to which pain, effort, and fatigue contribute to voice disorders lacks thorough validation in the clinical population.
This research proposes to establish a protocol to elicit vocal effort, gather normative data on those with voice disorders and those without voice disorders, and compare the measure of vocal effort with other commonly used measures of voice impairment (acoustic measures and auditory perceptual measures of vocal quality as judged by expert listeners), as it relates to subjects with various voice disorders.
Objectives: The purpose of this study is to begin the process of validating a system that will aid in establishing a protocol for measuring vocal effort for various voice disorder groups, as well as a measurement for the degree in which pain, effort, and fatigue influence voice disorders. Specifically, the research has 3 specific aims: 1) establish a protocol for obtaining a measure of vocal effort for various voice disorder groups, 2) gather normative data on those with voice disorders and healthy control participants, and 3) compare measures of vocal effort with other commonly used measures of voice impairment.