Speaking-Related Dyspnea in Healthy Adults Purpose To reveal the qualities and intensity of speaking-related dyspnea in healthy adults under conditions of high ventilatory drive, in which the behavioral and metabolic control of breathing must compete. Method Eleven adults read aloud while breathing different levels of inspired carbon dioxide (CO2). After the highest level, ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2007
Speaking-Related Dyspnea in Healthy Adults
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jeannette D. Hoit
    University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
  • Robert W. Lansing
    University of Arizona and Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
  • Kristen E. Perona
    University of Arizona
  • Contact author: Jeannette D. Hoit, Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, University of Arizona, P.O. Box 210071, Tucson, AZ 85721. E-mail: hoit@email.arizona.edu.
Article Information
Normal Language Processing / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2007
Speaking-Related Dyspnea in Healthy Adults
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2007, Vol. 50, 361-374. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/026)
History: Received January 17, 2006 , Accepted August 12, 2006
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2007, Vol. 50, 361-374. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2007/026)
History: Received January 17, 2006; Accepted August 12, 2006
Web of Science® Times Cited: 10

Purpose To reveal the qualities and intensity of speaking-related dyspnea in healthy adults under conditions of high ventilatory drive, in which the behavioral and metabolic control of breathing must compete.

Method Eleven adults read aloud while breathing different levels of inspired carbon dioxide (CO2). After the highest level, participants provided unguided descriptions of their experiences and then selected descriptors from a list. On a subsequent day, participants read aloud while breathing high CO2 as before, then rated air hunger, physical exertion, and mental effort (with definitions provided). Recordings were made of ventilation (with respiratory magnetometers), end-tidal partial pressure of CO2, transcutaneous PCO2, oxygen saturation, noninvasive blood pressure, heart rate, and the speech signal.

Results Unguided descriptions were found to reflect the qualities of air hunger, physical exertion (work), mental effort, and speech-related observations. As CO2 stimulus strength increased, participants experienced increased perception of air hunger, physical exertion, and mental effort. Simultaneous increases were observed in ventilation, tidal volume, end-inspiratory and end-expiratory volumes, expiratory flow during speaking, nonlinguistic junctures, and nonspeech expirations.

Conclusion Two qualities of speaking-related dyspnea—air hunger and physical exertion—are the same as those reported for many other types of nonspeech dyspnea conditions and, therefore, may share the same physiological mechanisms. The mental effort quality associated with speaking-related dyspnea may reflect a conscious drive to balance speech requirements and ventilatory demands. These findings have implications for developing better ways to evaluate and manage clients with respiratory-based speech problems.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported in part, by a Faculty Small Grant from the University of Arizona and by the Institute for Neurogenic Communication Disorders. We thank Fiona Bailey, Robert Banzett, and Thomas Hixon for their helpful suggestions during the design phase of the study and Mark Borgstrom for his assistance with the statistical analyses.
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