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Reliable acoustic measurements in children between 5;0 and 9;11 years: Gender, age, height and weight effects on fundamental frequency, jitter and shimmer in phonations without and with controlled voice SPL


Brockmann-Bauser, Meike; Beyer, Denis; Bohlender, Jörg Edgar (2015). Reliable acoustic measurements in children between 5;0 and 9;11 years: Gender, age, height and weight effects on fundamental frequency, jitter and shimmer in phonations without and with controlled voice SPL. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 79(12):2035-2042.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Current pediatric voice assessment guidelines include instrumental measurements of fundamental frequency (F0) and the perturbation indices jitter and shimmer. In children below 10 years, gender, age, height and weight effects on these parameters have been inconsistently characterized. Recent research in healthy children showed, that differences in habitual speaking voice intensity (voice SPL) under the usual assessment procedure significantly affect jitter and shimmer. These effects were reduced in phonations with controlled voice SPL >80dBA. Reliable measurement methods and description of physiologic influencing factors are essential to identify pathologic voices.
OBJECTIVE: This cross-sectional single cohort study investigates in children between 5;0 and 9;11 years how gender, age, height and weight affect voice F0, jitter and shimmer in phonations at individually "medium" voice intensity (modeling the usual clinical practice) and with controlled voice SPL >80dBA.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: 68 vocally healthy children (39 f/29 m) aged 5;0-9;11 years provided 3 prolonged phonations of/a/at individually "medium" and controlled voice intensity at ">80dBA" (visual feedback, 10cm distance). F0 (Hz), jitter (%), shimmer (%) and voice SPL (dBA) were determined with PRAAT. Gender, age, height and weight effects without and with controlled voice SPL were assessed by descriptive statistics, Analysis of Variance and Linear Mixed Models.
RESULTS: F0 (Hz), jitter (%), shimmer (%) and voice SPL (dBA) were significantly different in medium voice compared to >80dBA (p<0.01). In medium phonations girls had a higher F0 than boys (girls: 276.7(50.7), boys: 261.5(33.7)), but with >80dBA this difference was only minimal (girls: 328.9(52.2), boys 327.9(51.2)). Mean jitter (0.27(0.10)) and shimmer (4.34(1.68)) were smaller and showed less spread (jitter: 0.5(0.26); shimmer: 9.47(3.47)) with >80dBA. Gender, age, height and weight had no significant effects on F0, jitter, shimmer and voice SPL in both phonation types (p-range=0.42-0.99).
CONCLUSIONS: Neither without nor with controlled voice SPL there were systematic gender, age, height or weight effects on voice F0, jitter and shimmer. Gender related F0 discrepancies were equalized in phonations with >80dBA. In children below 10 years gender related acoustic voice differences may be mainly linked to behavior, which should be considered in future works regarding physiologic voice development.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Current pediatric voice assessment guidelines include instrumental measurements of fundamental frequency (F0) and the perturbation indices jitter and shimmer. In children below 10 years, gender, age, height and weight effects on these parameters have been inconsistently characterized. Recent research in healthy children showed, that differences in habitual speaking voice intensity (voice SPL) under the usual assessment procedure significantly affect jitter and shimmer. These effects were reduced in phonations with controlled voice SPL >80dBA. Reliable measurement methods and description of physiologic influencing factors are essential to identify pathologic voices.
OBJECTIVE: This cross-sectional single cohort study investigates in children between 5;0 and 9;11 years how gender, age, height and weight affect voice F0, jitter and shimmer in phonations at individually "medium" voice intensity (modeling the usual clinical practice) and with controlled voice SPL >80dBA.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: 68 vocally healthy children (39 f/29 m) aged 5;0-9;11 years provided 3 prolonged phonations of/a/at individually "medium" and controlled voice intensity at ">80dBA" (visual feedback, 10cm distance). F0 (Hz), jitter (%), shimmer (%) and voice SPL (dBA) were determined with PRAAT. Gender, age, height and weight effects without and with controlled voice SPL were assessed by descriptive statistics, Analysis of Variance and Linear Mixed Models.
RESULTS: F0 (Hz), jitter (%), shimmer (%) and voice SPL (dBA) were significantly different in medium voice compared to >80dBA (p<0.01). In medium phonations girls had a higher F0 than boys (girls: 276.7(50.7), boys: 261.5(33.7)), but with >80dBA this difference was only minimal (girls: 328.9(52.2), boys 327.9(51.2)). Mean jitter (0.27(0.10)) and shimmer (4.34(1.68)) were smaller and showed less spread (jitter: 0.5(0.26); shimmer: 9.47(3.47)) with >80dBA. Gender, age, height and weight had no significant effects on F0, jitter, shimmer and voice SPL in both phonation types (p-range=0.42-0.99).
CONCLUSIONS: Neither without nor with controlled voice SPL there were systematic gender, age, height or weight effects on voice F0, jitter and shimmer. Gender related F0 discrepancies were equalized in phonations with >80dBA. In children below 10 years gender related acoustic voice differences may be mainly linked to behavior, which should be considered in future works regarding physiologic voice development.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Otorhinolaryngology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:September 2015
Deposited On:22 Dec 2015 14:06
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 16:07
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0165-5876
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijporl.2015.09.005
PubMed ID:26412461

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