688.12658318922 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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