Perceptual Measures of Speech From Individuals With Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis: Intelligibility and Beyond PurposeThe primary purpose of this study was to compare percent correct word and sentence intelligibility scores for individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) with scaled estimates of speech severity obtained for a reading passage.MethodSpeech samples for 78 talkers were judged, including 30 speakers with MS, 16 speakers ... Article
Article  |   August 01, 2012
Perceptual Measures of Speech From Individuals With Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis: Intelligibility and Beyond
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kris Tjaden
    University at Buffalo, State University of New York
  • Correspondence to Joan E. Sussman: jsussman@buffalo.edu
  • Editor: Anne Smith
    Editor: Anne Smith×
  • Associate Editor: Wolfram Ziegler
    Associate Editor: Wolfram Ziegler×
Article Information
Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech
Article   |   August 01, 2012
Perceptual Measures of Speech From Individuals With Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis: Intelligibility and Beyond
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2012, Vol. 55, 1208-1219. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/11-0048)
History: Received February 22, 2011 , Revised October 15, 2011 , Accepted December 31, 2011
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2012, Vol. 55, 1208-1219. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/11-0048)
History: Received February 22, 2011; Revised October 15, 2011; Accepted December 31, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 21

PurposeThe primary purpose of this study was to compare percent correct word and sentence intelligibility scores for individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) with scaled estimates of speech severity obtained for a reading passage.

MethodSpeech samples for 78 talkers were judged, including 30 speakers with MS, 16 speakers with PD, and 32 healthy control speakers. Fifty-two naive listeners performed forced-choice word identification, sentence transcription, or visual analog scaling of speech severity for the Grandfather Passage (Duffy, 2005). Three expert listeners also scaled speech severity for the Grandfather Passage.

ResultsPercent correct word and sentence intelligibility scores did not cleanly differentiate speakers with MS, PD, or control speakers. In contrast, both naive and expert listener groups judged reading passages produced by speakers with MS and PD to be more severely impaired than reading passages produced by control talkers.

ConclusionScaled estimates of speech severity appear to be sensitive to aspects of speech impairment in MS and PD not captured by word or sentence intelligibility scores. One implication is that scaled estimates of speech severity might prove useful for documenting speech changes related to disease progression or even treatment for individuals with MS and PD with minimal reduction in intelligibility.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R01 DC004689. Results were presented at the 2009 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Annual Convention, in New Orleans, LA. We thank Gary Weismer for his helpful comments. We thank Stacy Blackburn and Ken Johnson for their assistance with data collection and reduction.
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