Objective Assessment of Vocal Hyperfunction An Experimental Framework and Initial Results Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1989
Objective Assessment of Vocal Hyperfunction
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Robert E. Hillman
    Boston University and Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Eva B. Holmberg
    Boston University, Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Stockholm
  • Joseph S. Perkell
    Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Michael Walsh
    Boston VA Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine
  • Charles Vaughan
    Boston VA Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1989
Objective Assessment of Vocal Hyperfunction
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1989, Vol. 32, 373-392. doi:10.1044/jshr.3202.373
History: Received January 5, 1988 , Accepted September 19, 1988
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1989, Vol. 32, 373-392. doi:10.1044/jshr.3202.373
History: Received January 5, 1988; Accepted September 19, 1988

This report describes the experimental design and initial results of an ongoing clinical investigation of voice disorders. Its major focus is the development and use of quantitative measures to provide objective descriptions of conditions referred to as "vocal hyperfunction." The experimental design for this project is based on a descriptive theoretical framework, which holds that there are different types and stages of hyperfunctionally related voice disorders. Data consist of indirect measures derived from noninvasive aerodynamic and acoustic recordings including (a) parameters derived from inverse filtered approximations of the glottal air flow waveform; (b) estimates of transglottal pressure, average glottal air flow, glottal resistance and vocal efficiency; and (c) measures of vocal intensity and fundamental frequency. Initial results (based on comparisons among 15 voice patients and 45 normal speakers) support major assumptions that underlie the theoretical framework, and indicate that the measurement approach being utilized is capable of differentiating hyperfunctional from normal voices and hyperfunctional conditions from one another. Organic manifestations of vocal hyperfunction (nodules, polyps, contact ulcers) are accompanied by abnormally high values for the glottal waveform parameters of AC flow and maximum flow declination rate, suggesting increased potential for vocal fold trauma due to high vocal fold closure velocities and collision forces. In contrast, nonorganic manifestations of hyperfunction (functional disorders) tend to be associated with abnormally high levels of unmodulated DC flow, without high values for AC flow and maximum flow declination rate, suggesting reduced potential for vocal fold trauma. Measures also suggest different underlying mechanisms for nodules and polyps as compared to contact ulcers. Results are discussed relative to predictions based on the theoretical framework for vocal hyperfunction.

Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access