Disfluency in Spasmodic Dysphonia A Multivariate Analysis Research Article
Research Article  |   June 01, 1997
Disfluency in Spasmodic Dysphonia
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Michael P. Cannito
    The University of Memphis Memphis, Tennessee
  • Annette Renee Burch
    University of South Alabama Mobile
  • Christopher Watts
    University of South Alabama Mobile
  • Patrick W. Rappold
    University of South Alabama Mobile
  • Stephen B. Hood
    University of South Alabama Mobile
  • Kyla Sherrard
    The University of Texas at Austin
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Voice Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   June 01, 1997
Disfluency in Spasmodic Dysphonia
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1997, Vol. 40, 627-641. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4003.627
History: Received July 24, 1996 , Accepted December 18, 1996
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 1997, Vol. 40, 627-641. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4003.627
History: Received July 24, 1996; Accepted December 18, 1996

This study examined visual analog scaling (VAS) judgments of disfluency by normal listeners in response to oral reading by speakers with spasmodic dysphonia (SD) and by nondysphonic controls, as well as the variables of frequency of occurrence of disfluencies, speaking rate, number of reading errors, and temporal acoustic measures of interword interval duration and articulation time. MANOVA yielded statistically significant differences between SD and control speakers for all variables except reading errors. Although no significant fluency-related differences were observed in terms of type of vocal spasm or voice tremor, significant differences in disfluency measures were obtained for clinical ratings of severity of dysphonia. Greater dysphonia severity ratings were associated with decreased fluency, but milder ratings were not necessarily associated with disfluency. Stepwise multiple regression analysis demonstrated that frequency of disfluency occurrence, speaking rate, and reading errors accounted for more than three fourths of the variability in VAS judgments of disfluency. Findings suggest that although disfluency is not a defining feature of SD, it does contribute significantly to the overall clinical impression of severity of the disorder.

Acknowledgments
The authors gratefully acknowledge Jane Garcia for assistance with the digitization and preparation of the VAS stimuli. This research was supported by grants to the first author from the Research Committee of the University of South Alabama and from the National Institutes of Health (NIDCD Area Grant 1-R15- DC/OD02299-01A1). Portions of this research were presented at the Annual Conventions of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in Orlando, FL, December 1995 and in Seattle, WA, November 1996.
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