Reliability of Acoustic Measures in Dysphonic Patients With Glottic Insufficiency and Healthy Population: A COVID-19 Perspective

Seung Jin Lee, Min Seok Kang, Young Min Park, Jae Yol Lim

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the voice assessment protocols for dysphonic patients. In this study, we compared the changes in acoustic measures of the healthy population as well as dysphonic patients due to glottic insufficiency between the pandemic period requiring face masks and the prepandemic period when the masks were not essential. The clinical reliability of the acoustic measures with and without face masks was explored. Methods: A total of 120 patients (age = 42.3 ± 11.9 yrs) with glottic insufficiencies such as UVFP and sulcus vocalis and 40 healthy population (age = 40.5 ± 11.2 yrs) cohorts were enrolled during the pandemic period. Age- and gender-matched 120 patients and 40 healthy population cohorts who underwent voice assessment without face masks before the pandemic were enrolled as prepandemic controls. Acoustic measures and overall severity estimates of vowel and speech samples were compared, which included cepstral peak prominence (CPP), L/H spectral ratio (SR), their standard deviations, F0, jitter percent (Jitt), shimmer percent (Shim), noise-to-harmonic ratio (NHR), Cepstral Spectral Index of Dysphonia (CSID), and Acoustic Psychometric Severity Index of Dysphonia. Results: Both patients and healthy cohorts showed higher SRv and SRs but lower CSIDv during the pandemic compared to the prepandemic period. F0 of the healthy male controls during the pandemic was higher than during the prepandemic periods, while the CSIDs was lower for the pandemic period. The pandemic patient cohort showed lower σSRs compared to the prepandemic patient cohort. When the acoustic measures of patients were compared to the healthy population cohort, the patient cohort showed lower CPP and σCPPs, while higher σCPPv, Jitt, Shim, and NHR during both pandemic and prepandemic period. Overall, the area under the curve of the acoustic measures and overall severity estimates was similar between the mask and non-mask groups, although the AUC of the SR measures was poor. Conclusions: Wearing face masks during the pandemic did not compromise the overall reliability of the acoustic analysis in patients with glottic insufficiency, suggesting the current protocol of acoustic analysis can be carried out reliably while wearing a mask to ensure safety in the pandemic era.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Voice
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (No. 2021R1G1A1094247 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Speech and Hearing
  • LPN and LVN


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