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Perceived Voice Quality and Voice-Related Problems Among Older Adults With Hearing Impairments
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Speech language pathology, Audiology and Otorhinolaryngology. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4715-6980
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Speech language pathology, Audiology and Otorhinolaryngology. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Speech language pathology, Audiology and Otorhinolaryngology. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3350-8997
2018 (English)In: Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, ISSN 1092-4388, E-ISSN 1558-9102, Vol. 61, no 9, p. 2168-2178Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The auditory system helps regulate phonation. A speakers perception of their own voice is likely to be of both emotional and functional significance. Although many investigations have observed deviating voice qualities in individuals who are prelingually deaf or profoundly hearing impaired, less is known regarding how older adults with acquired hearing impairments perceive their own voice and potential voice problems. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate problems relating to phonation and self-perceived voice sound quality in older adults based on hearing ability and the use of hearing aids. Method: This was a cross-sectional study, with 290 participants divided into 3 groups (matched by age and gender): (a) individuals with hearing impairments who did not use hearing aids (n = 110), (b) individuals with hearing impairments who did use hearing aids (n = 110), and (c) individuals with no hearing impairments (n = 70). All participants underwent a pure-tone audiometry exam; completed standardized questionnaires regarding their hearing, voice, and general health; and were recorded speaking in a soundproof room. Results: The hearing aid users surpassed the benchmarks for having a voice disorder on the Voice Handicap Index (VHI; Jacobson et al., 1997) at almost double the rate predicted by the Swedish normative values for their age range, although there was no significant difference in acoustical measures between any of the groups. Both groups with hearing impairments scored significantly higher on the VHI than the control group, indicating more impairment. It remains inconclusive how much hearing loss versus hearing aids separately contribute to the difference in voice problems. The total scores on the Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly (Ventry amp; Weinstein, 1982), in combination with the variables gender and age, explained 21.9% of the variance on the VHI. Perceiving ones own voice as being distorted, dull, or hollow had a strong negative association with a general satisfaction about the sound quality of ones own voice. In addition, groupwise differences in own-voice descriptions suggest that a negative perception of ones voice could be influenced by alterations caused by hearing aid processing. Conclusions: The results indicate that hearing impairments and hearing aids affect several aspects of vocal satisfaction in older adults. A greater understanding of how hearing impairments and hearing aids relate to voice problems may contribute to better voice and hearing care.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
AMER SPEECH-LANGUAGE-HEARING ASSOC , 2018. Vol. 61, no 9, p. 2168-2178
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URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-151787DOI: 10.1044/2018_JSLHR-S-17-0383ISI: 000444983700002PubMedID: 30167670OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-151787DiVA, id: diva2:1254018
Note

Funding Agencies|Hearing Foundation, Swedish Association of Hard of Hearing People [2012-373]

Available from: 2018-10-08 Created: 2018-10-08 Last updated: 2018-10-08

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Hengen, JohannaLundeborg Hammarström, IngerStenfelt, Stefan
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