BACKGROUND : Persons with stuttering (PWS) often present with other co-occurring conditions.
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Classification of Functioning, Disability
and Health (ICF) proposes that it is important to understand the full burden of a health
condition. A few studies have explored voice problems among PWS, and the characteristics of
voices of PWS are relatively unknown. The importance of conducting future research has been
OBJECTIVES : This study aimed to describe the vocal characteristics of PWS.
METHOD : Acoustic and perceptual data were collected during a comprehensive voice
assessment. The severity of stuttering was also determined. Correlations between the stuttering
severity instrument (SSI) and the acoustic measurements were evaluated to determine the
significance. Twenty participants were tested for this study.
RESULT : Only two participants (10%) obtained a positive Dysphonia Severity Index (DSI) score
of 1.6 or higher, indicating that no dysphonia was present, while 90% of participants (n = 18)
scored lower than 1.6, indicating that those participants presented with dysphonia. Some
participants presented with weakness (asthenia) of voice (35%), while 65% presented with a
slightly strained voice quality. Moderately positive correlations between breathiness and SSI
(r = 0.40, p = 0.08) have been reported. In addition, participants with high SSI scores also
scored a poor DSI of below 1.6, as observed by a moderate positive correlation between SSI
and DSI (r = 0.41).
CONCLUSION : The majority of PWS presented with dysphonia, evident in the perceptual or
acoustic parameters of their voices. These results can be used for further investigation to create
awareness and to establish intervention strategies for voice disorders among PWS.