Frailty and Voice: Acoustic Analysis of Connected Speech in Single- and Dual-Task Conditions
fundamental frequency variability
speech range density profile area
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe objective of this study was to compare six acoustic measures of speech and voice production in connected speech samples to determine whether the voices of adults who are frail differed from those adults who are not frail or are borderline frail, and whether cognitive dual-task interference induced more changes in voice quality for those who are frail than participants in the other two groups under the same conditions. A controlled, cross-over, quasi-experimental research study protocol was implemented, in which participants were grouped according their overall frailty score on the Fried Frailty Index. Each participant completed two verbal picture description tasks, first in a single-task control condition and then in a dual-task condition with simultaneous sorting of plastic tiles by size. Connected speech samples were analyzed for six acoustic measures: articulation rate, mean fundamental frequency, fundamental frequency variability, intensity range, speech range density profile area, and cepstral peak prominence-smoothed. Both absolute values and a difference score across conditions were used. Performance differences were analyzed with independent sample t-tests and repeated measures MANOVA/MANCOVA, with acoustic measures as the outcomes and task condition and frailty status as independent variables. Model covariates included demographic characteristics and cognitive and communication measures. Exploratory analyses suggest that fundamental frequency variability and SRP area may show some promise for describing characteristic speech production associated with frailty status. Keywords: dual-task interference, frailty, fundamental frequency, fundamental frequency variability, speech range density profile area, voice
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences