Can we perceptually rate alaryngeal voice? Developing the Sunderland tracheoesophageal voice perceptual scale

Hurren, Anne, Hildreth, Anthony and Carding, Paul (2009) Can we perceptually rate alaryngeal voice? Developing the Sunderland tracheoesophageal voice perceptual scale. Clinical Otolaryngology, 34 (6). pp. 533-538. ISSN 0307-7772

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-4486.2009.02034.x

Abstract

Objective
To investigate the inter and intra reliability of raters (in relation to both profession and expertise) when judging two alaryngeal voice parameters: ‘Overall Grade’ and ‘Neoglottal Tonicity’. Reliable perceptual assessment is essential for surgical and therapeutic outcome measurement but has been minimally researched to date.

Design
Test of inter and intra rater agreement from audio recordings of 55 tracheoesophageal speakers.

Setting
Cancer Unit.

Participants
Twelve speech and language therapists and ten Ear, Nose and Throat surgeons.

Main outcome measures
Perceptual voice parameters of ‘Overall Grade’ rated with a 0–3 equally appearing interval scale and ‘Neoglottal Tonicity’ with an 11-point bipolar semantic scale.

Results
All raters achieved ‘good’ agreement for ‘Overall Grade’ with mean weighted kappa coefficients of 0.78 for intra and 0.70 for inter-rater agreement. All raters achieved ‘good’ intra-rater agreement for ‘Neoglottal Tonicity’ (0.64) but inter-rater agreement was only ‘moderate’ (0.40). However, the expert speech and language therapists sub-group attained ‘good’ inter-rater agreement with this parameter (0.63). The effect of ‘Neoglottal Tonicity’ on ‘Overall Grade’ was examined utilising only expert speech and language therapists data. Linear regression analysis resulted in an r-squared coefficient of 0.67. Analysis of the perceptual impression of hypotonicity and hypertonicity in relation to mean ‘Overall Grade’ score demonstrated neither tone was linked to a more favourable grade (P = 0.42).

Conclusions
Expert speech and language therapist raters may be the optimal judges for tracheoesophageal voice assessment. Tonicity appears to be a good predictor of ‘Overall Grade’. These scales have clinical applicability to investigate techniques that facilitate optotonic neoglottal voice quality.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: speech, alaryngeal, tracheotomy
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > School of Health, Community and Education Studies > Education and Lifelong Learning
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 14 May 2010 12:19
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2015 11:41
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/2941

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