The Relationship Between Listener Comprehension and Intelligibility Scores for Speakers With Dysarthria Purpose This study examined the relationship between listener comprehension and intelligibility scores for speakers with mild, moderate, severe, and profound dysarthria. Relationships were examined across all speakers and their listeners when severity effects were statistically controlled, within severity groups, and within individual speakers with dysarthria. Method Speech samples ... Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 2008
The Relationship Between Listener Comprehension and Intelligibility Scores for Speakers With Dysarthria
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Katherine C. Hustad
    University of Wisconsin—Madison
  • Contact author: Katherine C. Hustad, 475 Waisman Center, 1500 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53705. E-mail: kchustad@wisc.edu.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Dysarthria / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 2008
The Relationship Between Listener Comprehension and Intelligibility Scores for Speakers With Dysarthria
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2008, Vol. 51, 562-573. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/040)
History: Received March 29, 2006 , Revised October 15, 2006 , Accepted August 29, 2007
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2008, Vol. 51, 562-573. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/040)
History: Received March 29, 2006; Revised October 15, 2006; Accepted August 29, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 36

Purpose This study examined the relationship between listener comprehension and intelligibility scores for speakers with mild, moderate, severe, and profound dysarthria. Relationships were examined across all speakers and their listeners when severity effects were statistically controlled, within severity groups, and within individual speakers with dysarthria.

Method Speech samples were collected from 12 speakers with dysarthria secondary to cerebral palsy. For each speaker, 12 different listeners completed 2 tasks (for a total of 144 listeners): One task involved making orthographic transcriptions, and 1 task involved answering comprehension questions. Transcriptions were scored for the number of words transcribed correctly. Responses to comprehension questions were scored on a 3-point scale according to their accuracy.

Results Across all speakers, the Pearson product–moment correlation between comprehension and intelligibility scores was nonsignificant when the effects of severity were factored out and residual scores were examined. Within severity groups, the same relationship was significant only for the mild group. Within individual speaker groups, the relationship was nonsignificant for all but 2 speakers with dysarthria. Percentage of correct scores for listener comprehension was descriptively higher than percentage of correct intelligibility scores for all groups.

Conclusion Findings suggest that transcription intelligibility scores do not accurately reflect listener comprehension scores. Measures of both intelligibility and listener comprehension may provide a more complete description of the information-bearing capability of dysarthric speech than either measure alone.

Acknowledgments
Portions of these data were presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Convention, Chicago, IL (November 2003). Thanks to Katie Rentschler, Julie Auker, Gwen Gottardy, Heidi Ake, Becky Lang, and Rhonda Davis for assistance with development and pilot testing of the comprehension questions and for assistance with data collection from listeners. In addition, thanks to Caitlin Dardis and Lisa Igl for assistance with reliability analyses. This research was funded, in part, by Grant R03 DC005536 from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
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