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BENEFITS OF THE FIBER OPTIC VERSUS THE ELECTRET MICROPHONE IN

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BENEFITS OF THE FIBER OPTIC VERSUS THE ELECTRET MICROPHONE IN Powered By Docstoc
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BENEFITS OF THE FIBER OPTIC VERSUS THE ELECTRET MICROPHONE IN VOICE
AMPLIFICATION
K. Kyriakou and H. Fisher
Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, USA

Introduction and aims of the study: Voice disorders that result in reduced loudness cause difficulty
in communicating, socializing and participating in occupational activities.          Amplification is often
recommended in order to facilitate functional communication, reduce vocal load and avoid developing
maladaptive compensatory behaviors. The most common microphone used with amplification systems is
the electret microphone. One alternate form of microphone is the fiber optic microphone. This study will
examine the benefits of the fiber optic versus the electret microphone in terms of performance and
patient satisfaction in the amplification of a patient’s voice with reduced loudness caused by insufficient
subglottal pressure due to neurological or respiratory based problems.
Methods: Six patients with vocal fold paralysis, Parkinson’s disease and emphysema will participate in
the study. The study will contain a measurement of intensity, amplitude perturbation and signal-to-noise
ratio during a sustained vowel production and a measurement of intensity during conversation with the
use of the two microphones simultaneously. It will also include the completion of a questionnaire
indicating the patient’s satisfaction for each microphone.
Expected Results: The fiber optic microphone will have better performance (e.g., lower amplitude
perturbation, higher signal-to-noise ratio and higher intensity) than the electret microphone. It will also
have better patient satisfaction (e.g., less conspicuous, more voice clarity, less sound distortion, greater
voice amplification and more utilization) than the electret microphone.
Expected Conclusions: Patients with neurologically or respiratory based voice problems will more
confidently and frequently use the fiber optic microphone. Patients will more frequently be involved in
social situations especially in group conversations. Speech language pathologists will more confidently
recommend the fiber optic microphone with amplification systems.

				
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