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Original Investigation
August 2014

Pediatric Voice Analysis: Comparison of 2 Computerized Analysis Systems

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, San Antonio Military Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas
  • 2Voice and Speech Laboratory, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston
  • 3Department of Otolaryngology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 4Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, Boston
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2014;140(8):742-745. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2014.1162
Abstract

Importance  This research contributes to the pediatric objective voice measurement database while identifying comparable measurements between 2 available voice analysis systems.

Objective  To compare selective normative pediatric acoustic variables between the Multi-Dimensional Voice Program (MDVP) and the Voice Evaluation Suite (VES) computerized voice analysis systems. Additionally, it describes the first comprehensive pediatric database analyzing fundamental frequency, jitter, shimmer, and noise to harmonic ratio using the VES.

Design, Setting, and Participants  Cross-sectional study with planned data collection conducted at a tertiary referral otolaryngologic clinic. Participants were 335 children, aged 4 to 18 years, with normal voices.

Interventions  Objective voice data were collected on the MDVP and the VES systems.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Fundamental frequency, jitter, shimmer, and noise to harmonic ratio.

Results  The fundamental frequencies agreed with previous pediatric normative values. There was not a statistically significant difference between MDVP and VES measurements of mean fundamental frequency (P = .23). Jitter percentage (P < .001), shimmer percentage (P < .001), and noise to harmonic ratio (P < .002) for all children were statistically different between the 2 voice evaluation systems.

Conclusions and Relevance  These data show that the measured fundamental frequency of normal voices in children is comparable between the MDVP and VES voice analysis systems. Jitter, shimmer, and noise to harmonic ratio values are not interchangeable between voice analysis systems. The voice analysis system should be reported when providing voice measurement outcomes in the literature.

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