The acoustic analysis of speech has proved useful in the clinical evaluation of dysphonia, for it allows an objective assessment of the voice. However, the literature has suggested that the type of speech task used to obtain voice samples from patients (sustained vowel or connected speech) may affect both the perceptual and the acoustic evaluation of dysphonic voices. This study aimed at investigating whether the type of speech task significantly influences the acoustic analysis of dysphonic voices. Five acoustic parameters related to voice quality (cepstral peak prominence, difference between the magnitudes of the first and second harmonics, harmonics-to-noise ratio, jitter and shimmer) were automatically computed from voice samples of 5 female and 5 male subjects with and without dysphonia. These recordings consisted of three types of speech task: connected speech, count and sustained vowel. Analyses of variance with repeated measures showed that all five acoustic parameters were significantly affected by speech task. Further analyses through the Duncan’s multiple-range test indicated that the type of speech task may also influence the discrimination of dysphonic voices. It is concluded that speech task affects the acoustic assessment of dysphonic voices by significantly raising or reducing the values of the acoustic parameters.
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