Perception of Wet Vocal Quality in Identifying Penetration/Aspiration During Swallowing PurposeIn the present study, the authors investigated the association between wet vocal quality (WVQ) and prandial material in the larynx during phonation. The presence of such material is indicative of oropharyngeal dysphagia and results from entry of material into the laryngeal vestibule during swallowing. The primary aim of the study ... Article
Article  |   June 01, 2010
Perception of Wet Vocal Quality in Identifying Penetration/Aspiration During Swallowing
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kathy Jean Groves-Wright
    Cincinnati Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, and University of Cincinnati
  • Suzanne Boyce
    University of Cincinnati
  • Lisa Kelchner
    University of Cincinnati
  • Contact author: Kathy Groves-Wright, Audiology and Speech Pathology Section (126), Cincinnati Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 3200 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH 45220. E-mail: kathy.groves@va.gov.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Speech
Article   |   June 01, 2010
Perception of Wet Vocal Quality in Identifying Penetration/Aspiration During Swallowing
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2010, Vol. 53, 620-632. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0246)
History: Received November 28, 2008 , Revised May 21, 2009 , Accepted September 28, 2009
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2010, Vol. 53, 620-632. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0246)
History: Received November 28, 2008; Revised May 21, 2009; Accepted September 28, 2009
Web of Science® Times Cited: 6

PurposeIn the present study, the authors investigated the association between wet vocal quality (WVQ) and prandial material in the larynx during phonation. The presence of such material is indicative of oropharyngeal dysphagia and results from entry of material into the laryngeal vestibule during swallowing. The primary aim of the study was to determine whether clinicians reliably perceive WVQ during phonation when prandial material is in the larynx.

MethodSeventy-eight subjects underwent videofluoroscopic swallow study, and simultaneous recording of time-linked videofluoroscopic and acoustic data was conducted during postswallow phonation. Experienced dysphagia clinicians then rated randomized audio samples for presence or absence of WVQ.

ResultsWVQ is not reliably perceived by clinicians when material is present in the larynx in the region of the glottis during phonation, and there is a high degree of interrater variability for perceptual judgments of wetness.

ConclusionsMaterial in the larynx during phonation may result in multiple voice quality percepts, and even experienced clinicians may not be adept at identifying the perceptual consequences of this. Observation of laryngeal physiology during voicing when material is in the larynx using vocal tract imaging can improve reliability in the identification of wet vocal quality.

Acknowledgments
We extend our sincere thanks to Donald Cooper and Linda Levin for their important contributions to this work. Many thanks to Michael Fraas, Kate Krival, and Anne McGrail for their participation in the study.
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