NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1165940
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1368-2822
Acoustic Changes in the Speech of Children with Cerebral Palsy Following an Intensive Program of Dysarthria Therapy
Pennington, Lindsay; Lombardo, Eftychia; Steen, Nick; Miller, Nick
International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, v53 n1 p182-195 Jan-Feb 2018
Background: The speech intelligibility of children with dysarthria and cerebral palsy has been observed to increase following therapy focusing on respiration and phonation. Aims: To determine if speech intelligibility change following intervention is associated with change in acoustic measures of voice. Methods & Procedures: We recorded 16 young people with cerebral palsy and dysarthria (nine girls; mean age 14 years, SD = 2; nine spastic type, two dyskinetic, four mixed; one Worster-Drought) producing speech in two conditions (single words, connected speech) twice before and twice after therapy focusing on respiration, phonation and rate. In both single-word and connected speech we measured vocal intensity (root mean square--RMS), period-to-period variability (Shimmer APQ, Jitter RAP and PPQ) and harmonics-to-noise ratio (HNR). In connected speech we also measured mean fundamental frequency, utterance duration in seconds and speech and articulation rate (syllables/s with and without pauses respectively). All acoustic measures were made using Praat. Intelligibility was calculated in previous research. Outcomes & Results: In single words statistically significant but very small reductions were observed in period-to-period variability following therapy: Shimmer APQ -0.15 (95% CI = -0.21 to -0.09); Jitter RAP -0.08 (95% CI = -0.14 to -0.01); Jitter PPQ -0.08 (95% CI = -0.15 to -0.01). No changes in period-to-period perturbation across phrases in connected speech were detected. However, changes in connected speech were observed in phrase length, rate and intensity. Following therapy, mean utterance duration increased by 1.11 s (95% CI = 0.37-1.86) when measured with pauses and by 1.13 s (95% CI = 0.40-1.85) when measured without pauses. Articulation rate increased by 0.07 syllables/s (95% CI = 0.02-0.13); speech rate increased by 0.06 syllables/s (95% CI = < 0.01-0.12); and intensity increased by 0.03 Pascals (95% CI = 0.02-0.04). There was a gradual reduction in mean fundamental frequency across all time points (-11.85 Hz, 95% CI = -19.84 to -3.86). Only increases in the intensity of single words (0.37 Pascals, 95% CI = 0.10-0.65) and reductions in fundamental frequency (-0.11 Hz, 95% CI = -0.21 to -0.02) in connected speech were associated with gains in intelligibility. Conclusions & Implications: Mean reductions in impairment in vocal function following therapy observed were small and most are unlikely to be clinically significant. Changes in vocal control did not explain improved intelligibility.
Wiley-Blackwell. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (DHHS)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: CDF/01/021