Articulatory Changes Following Treatment of Muscle Tension Dysphonia: Preliminary Acoustic Evidence PurposePrimary muscle tension dysphonia (MTD), a voice disturbance that occurs in the absence of structural or neurological pathology, may respond to manual circumlaryngeal techniques, which ostensibly alter the posture of the larynx and/or the configuration of the vocal folds without directly targeting supralaryngeal articulatory structures. Although the phonatory benefits of ... Article/Report
Article/Report  |   February 2008
Articulatory Changes Following Treatment of Muscle Tension Dysphonia: Preliminary Acoustic Evidence
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Christopher Dromey
    Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
  • Shawn L. Nissen
    Brigham Young University
  • Nelson Roy
    The University of Utah, Salt Lake City
  • Ray M. Merrill
    Brigham Young University
  • Contact author: Christopher Dromey, 133 Taylor Building, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 80602. E-mail: dromey@byu.edu.
  • © 2008 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech
Article/Report   |   February 2008
Articulatory Changes Following Treatment of Muscle Tension Dysphonia: Preliminary Acoustic Evidence
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2008, Vol. 51, 196-208. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/015)
History: Received May 19, 2006 , Revised September 29, 2006 , Accepted June 6, 2007
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2008, Vol. 51, 196-208. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/015)
History: Received May 19, 2006; Revised September 29, 2006; Accepted June 6, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 12

PurposePrimary muscle tension dysphonia (MTD), a voice disturbance that occurs in the absence of structural or neurological pathology, may respond to manual circumlaryngeal techniques, which ostensibly alter the posture of the larynx and/or the configuration of the vocal folds without directly targeting supralaryngeal articulatory structures. Although the phonatory benefits of these techniques have been documented previously, this investigation examined whether acoustic evidence exists for articulatory changes accompanying successful management.

MethodIn this retrospective study of a clinical database, pre- and post-treatment speech samples from 111 women with MTD were analyzed for acoustic evidence of supraglottal vocal tract changes associated with voice improvement, which was confirmed by perceptual ratings of dysphonia severity. The slopes of the first and second formants in diphthongs, as well as global measures of speech timing were acquired. Twenty younger females with normal voices were recorded twice, across a similar time-span to the disordered speakers, to allow comparisons in performance.

ResultsRepeated measures analysis of variance was used to evaluate changes accompanying treatment. Significant time by group interactions for /ɑI/ F2 slope, /eI/ F2 slope, sample duration, and speaking time ratio were observed. As compared to the controls, diphthong second formant transitions increased in slope, and timing measures showed increases in speech continuity for the speakers with MTD.

ConclusionsCollectively, these preliminary findings suggest that individuals with MTD experience changes in both articulatory and phonatory behavior following successful treatment that targets the larynx.

Acknowledgment
We express our appreciation to Kurtt Boucher for his assistance with the acoustical analysis.
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