Objective Automatic Assessment of Rehabilitative Speech Treatment in Parkinson's Disease

Athanasios Tsanas*, Max A. Little, Cynthia Fox, Lorraine O. Ramig

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Vocal performance degradation is a common symptom for the vast majority of Parkinson's disease (PD) subjects, who typically follow personalized one-to-one periodic rehabilitation meetings with speech experts over a long-term period. Recently, a novel computer program called Lee Silverman voice treatment (LSVT) Companion was developed to allow PD subjects to independently progress through a rehabilitative treatment session. This study is part of the assessment of the LSVT Companion, aiming to investigate the potential of using sustained vowel phonations towards objectively and automatically replicating the speech experts' assessments of PD subjects' voices as "acceptable" (a clinician would allow persisting during in-person rehabilitation treatment) or "unacceptable" (a clinician would not allow persisting during in-person rehabilitation treatment). We characterize each of the 156 sustained vowel /a/ phonations with 309 dysphonia measures, select a parsimonious subset using a robust feature selection algorithm, and automatically distinguish the two cohorts (acceptable versus unacceptable) with about 90% overall accuracy. Moreover, we illustrate the potential of the proposed methodology as a probabilistic decision support tool to speech experts to assess a phonation as "acceptable" or "unacceptable." We envisage the findings of this study being a first step towards improving the effectiveness of an automated rehabilitative speech assessment tool.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-190
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering
Volume22
Issue number1
Early online date5 Dec 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Decision support tool
  • Lee Silverman voice treatment (LSVT)
  • Parkinson's disease (PD)
  • speech rehabilitation
  • INTENSIVE VOICE TREATMENT
  • PATHOLOGICAL VOICES
  • SUSTAINED VOWELS
  • PARAMETERS
  • NOISE
  • FREQUENCY
  • CLASSIFICATION
  • COEFFICIENTS
  • IMPAIRMENT
  • ALGORITHMS

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