Voice Analysis of Postlingually Deaf Adults Pre- and Postcochlear Implantation

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JOURNAL OF VOICE, v.25, n.6, p.692-699, 2011
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Objectives. To ascertain whether cochlear implantation (Cl), without specific vocal rehabilitation, is associated with changes in perceptual and acoustic vocal parameters in adults with severe to profound postlingual deafness. Hypothesis. Merely restoring auditory feedback could allow the individual to make necessary adjustments in vocal pattern. Study Design. Prospective and longitudinal. Methods. The experimental group composed of 40 postlingually deaf adults (20 males and 20 females) with no previous laryngeal or voice disorders. Participants' voices were recorded before CI and 6-9 months after Cl. To check for chance modifications between two evaluations, a control group of 12 postlingually deaf adults, six male and six female, without CI was also evaluated. All sessions composed of the recording of read sentences from Consensus Auditory-Perceptual Evaluation of Voice and sustained vowel /a/. Auditory and acoustic analyses were then conducted. Results. We found a statistically significant reduction in overall severity, strain, loudness, and instability in auditory analysis. In vocal acoustic analysis, we found statistically significant reduction fundamental frequency (F0) values (in male participants) and F0 variability (in both genders). The control group showed no statistically significant changes in most vocal parameters assessed, apart from pitch and F0 (in female participants only). On comparing the interval of variation of results between the experimental and control groups, we found no statistically significant difference in vocal parameters between Cl recipients and nonrecipients, with the exception of F0 variability in male participants. Conclusions. The patients in our sample showed changes in overall severity, strain, loudness, and instability values, and reductions in F0 and its variability. On comparing the variation of results between the groups, we were able to prove in our study that implant recipients postlingually deaf adults (experimental group), without specific vocal rehabilitation, differed from nonrecipients (control group) in loudness and F0 variability sustained vowel /a/ in male participants.
Voice, Evaluation, Auditory perception, Cochlear implant
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