Speech-Language Pathology Presentations

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Alaryngeal Speech – Analysis of Two Forms of Voice Production in the Same Subject

Susana Vaz-Freitas 1 2 3, MsC, PhD, SLP
Elisabete Cardoso 4 5, MsC, SLP
Ricardo Sousa 3, PhD, Data Science Researcher
Diogo Coelho 4, Bachelor, Informatic Engineer
Luis Coelho 4 6, PhD, Adjunct Professor, ...
Electronics Engineer

¹Serviço Otorrinolaringologia do Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Porto – Hospital de Santo António (CHUP-HSA), ²Escola Superior de Saúde – Universidade Fernando Pessoa. 3Laboratório de Inteligência Artificial e Apoio à Decisão- INESCTEC 4Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, 5Hospital-Escola da UFP, ⁶ Centro de Inovação em Engenharia e Tecnologia Industrial

Contact Author:
Susana Vaz Freitas, Serviço Otorrinolaringologia, Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Porto, Largo Professor Abel Salazar, 4100-099, Porto - Portugal. Email: [email protected]

Objective: vocal communication in laryngectomized patients is compromised because of laryngeal surgical removal, so vocal restoration is mandatory. There are different alaryngeal speech alternatives. The goal was to determine – in the same subject – the acoustic differences of his esophageal speech (ES) and tracheoesophageal puncture (TEP).
Methods/Design: Patient is a male, European Portuguese speaker, submitted to total laryngectomy in a General Hospital in Oporto Area. The clinician who did the speech restoration was the same. Ethical committee approval was obtained. Informed consent was gathered. Data analysis was done using European Portuguese oral vowels, /a/, /i/ and /u/. For Maximum Phonation Time (MFT) calculation we used the isolated production. Then the vowels were extracted from a reading task, in syllables with association to occlusive consonants /p/, /t/ and /k/.
Results: MPT measures for ES and TEP were defined and considered different, with statistical significance (p=0.050). In addition, statistically significant differences were also found comparing ES with TEP for the acoustic measures of: f0 (p=0.035) and Harmonic-to-Noise Ratio (p=0.031).
Conclusions: The obtained results confirm the difference between ES and TEP. The best qualitative and quantitative outcomes are attributed to TEP. However, the patient identifies himself and says that his "natural voice" is when using ES. Personal identification and naturalness of the obtained voice can be associated to adherence and motivation for therapy, influencing its outcomes and efficacy.
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