Variability and Diagnostic Accuracy of Speech Intelligibility Scores in Children Purpose We examined variability of speech intelligibility scores and how well intelligibility scores predicted group membership among 5-year-old children with speech motor impairment (SMI) secondary to cerebral palsy and an age-matched group of typically developing (TD) children. Method Speech samples varying in length from 1–4 words were elicited ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2015
Variability and Diagnostic Accuracy of Speech Intelligibility Scores in Children
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Katherine C. Hustad
    University of Wisconsin–Madison
    Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Ashley Oakes
    Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Kristen Allison
    University of Wisconsin–Madison
    Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Katherine C. Hustad: kchustad@wisc.edu
  • Editor: Jody Kreiman
    Editor: Jody Kreiman×
  • Associate Editor: Julie Liss
    Associate Editor: Julie Liss×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2015
Variability and Diagnostic Accuracy of Speech Intelligibility Scores in Children
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2015, Vol. 58, 1695-1707. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-S-14-0365
History: Received December 29, 2014 , Revised June 30, 2015 , Accepted August 17, 2015
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2015, Vol. 58, 1695-1707. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-S-14-0365
History: Received December 29, 2014; Revised June 30, 2015; Accepted August 17, 2015
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose We examined variability of speech intelligibility scores and how well intelligibility scores predicted group membership among 5-year-old children with speech motor impairment (SMI) secondary to cerebral palsy and an age-matched group of typically developing (TD) children.

Method Speech samples varying in length from 1–4 words were elicited from 24 children with cerebral palsy (mean age 60.50 months) and 20 TD children (mean age 60.33 months). Two hundred twenty adult listeners made orthographic transcriptions of speech samples (n = 5 per child).

Results Variability associated with listeners made a significant contribution to explaining the variance in intelligibility scores for TD and SMI children, but the magnitude was greater for TD children. Intelligibility scores differentiated very well between children who have SMI and TD children when intelligibility was at or below approximately 75% and above approximately 85%.

Conclusions Intelligibility seems to be a useful clinical tool for differentiating between TD children and children with SMI at 5 years of age; however, there is considerable variability within and between listeners, highlighting the need for more than one listener per child to ensure validity of an intelligibility measure.

Acknowledgments
This study was funded by Grant R01DC009411, awarded to the first author, from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Support was also provided by the Waisman Center Core Grant P30HD03352 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The authors thank the children and their families who participated in this research and the graduate and undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison who assisted with data collection and data reduction.
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