The development of voice characteristics and voice quality after laryngectomy is important for the quality of speech and, ultimately, for the quality of life (QoL) of the patient. Clinical practice and subsequent therapies will benefit when such developments are documented over the course of treatments and even beyond. This documentation should consist of professional and perceptual (subjective) evaluations of the voice and the results of acoustic analysis.
Based on research of Van As, Clapham, and others, a set of acoustic measures have emerged that are useful to describe the voice of tracheolaryngeal (TE) speakers. These have been incorporated in the Voice Print of TEVA which gives a single-page view of the most important acoustic and perceptual measures of the TE voice. Voice prints are useful to document the acoustic characteristics of the TE voice.
Traditionally, voice evaluations are done on sustained vowels and articulated speech, e.g., words, sentences, and read stories. For TE speech, the basic evaluations can be done on sustained vowels, most importantly, sustained /a/.
Several perceptual dimensions are traditionally distinguished to evaluate voice and speech quality. These voice and speech evaluations are implemented in TEVA as Visual Analogue Scales (VAS) on the Rating page. For TE speech, three scales can express the most important qualities of the /a/ (under the Vowels Rating):
The VoicePrint will print out the Voice Quality rating (VQ).
Van As-Brooks has developed a four grade Acoustic Signal Typing of voice that is based on visual inspection of the Spectrogram. The AST categories can be entered using the number keys 1-4, the key 0 removes the AST category. AST categories are displayed as Roman numerals on the main page.
© R.J.J.H. van Son, February 11, 2014