Phoniatrics and Speech Pathology

​Leitung Forschung:

​Dr. phil. Meike Brockmann-Bauser, MSc, Curriculum Vitae (PDF)
Dr. med. Jörg Bohlender, KD


​Susanne Bauer, MA, Dissertantin PhD
Marília Carvalho Sampaio, PhD Prof.
Ursula Colotto-Vith, Speech Pathologist
Stephanie Diehl, MSc
Cand. med. Ruth Hangartner
Kathrin Hegemann, Dr. med.
Dr. med. Evelin Kovacs-Sipos
Cand. med. Silvan Marti
Dr. med. Stephanie Reetz
KD Dr. med. Dorothe Veraguth


​In der Abteilung Phoniatrie und Klinische Logopädie arbeitet ein interdisziplinäres Team aus Fachärzten für Phoniatrie und Otorhinolaryngologie und Klinischen Logopädinnen an verbesserten Möglichkeiten zur Diagnostik und Behandlung von Patienten mit Schluck- und Stimmstörungen. Die Arbeitsgruppe pflegt intensiven Austausch mit anderen nationalen und internationalen Forschergruppen und betreut akademische Qualifikationsarbeiten in der Medizin, Logopädie, Patholinguistik, Physiotherapie und biomedizinischen Wissenschaften.

Schwerpunkte in der angewandten Forschung sind die Erprobung und Validierung symptomspezifischer Fragebögen und die Untersuchung von Behandlungseffekten bei Patienten mit Schluck- und Stimmstörungen. Die Grundlagenforschung umfasst Projekte zur Optimierung von computergestützten instrumentellen akustischen Analysen der menschlichen Stimme in der klinischen Diagnostik von Stimmerkrankungen.

Research Projects

Studying the Behavior of Acoustic Measures of the PRAAT Program in Voice Evaluation

M. Carvalho Sampaio, J. Bohlender, M. Brockmann-Bauser

PRAAT is a free software measuring acoustic characteristics of the human voice, and is widely applied in scientific research. To date the evidence base for the clinical application to characterize and diagnose voice disorders is limited. One of the obstacles of using PRAAT in clinical routines is the lack of reliable reference values of the vocal measures provided by PRAAT. Thus, the normalization and validation of these acoustic parameters may offer an important contribution to their clinical use, and may facilitate better data comparability to research studies.

In a cross sectional study recordings of voice patients with a variety of voice disorders will be assessed using PRAAT. Normative values for irregularity parameters such as jitter and shimmer and harmonicity parameters such as Harmonics-to-Noise Ratio will be derived considering known influencing factors including profession, gender, age, vocal sample, vocal intensity, type of vowel and fundamental frequency. Further their accuracy to detect pathology and the relation to perceptual assessments and subjective voice findings will be investigated.

Projekt 1

Characteristics of dysphagia and dysphonia in patients with unilateral vocal fold paralysis: a retrospective analysis

R. Hangartner, S. Marti, S. Reetz, J. Bohlender, M. Brockmann-Bauser

Unilateral vocal fold paralysis (UVFP) is a common disease encountered in ear, nose and throat specialized clinics. In spite of the absence of epidemiological studies addressing UVFP, calculation of the incidence of unilateral vocal fold mobility impairment in England finds 5.13 new cases per 100’000 per year. UVFP results mainly in voice dysfunction determined and assessed by visual laryngeal examination by videolaryngostroboscopy, objective acoustic voice measurements such as jitter and voice range profiles (VRP), perceptual voice sound assessments such as by Grading-Roughness-Breathiness-Asthenia-Strain-Scale and standardized examinations of subjective voice symptoms. Although it is a widespread opinion that UVFP is associated with dysphagia and a higher risk of aspiration, this has only been substantiated by a few previous studies. In addition, standardized questionnaires to characterize subjective dysphagia symptoms have been rarely used. Main aim of this study is to assess the incidence and the type of dysphagia in UVFP patients and its correlation with acoustic, perceptual and subjective voice dysfunction.

Projekt 2

Transcultural translation and validation of the German Vocal Fatigue Index (VFI)

M. Brockmann-Bauser, K. Hegemann, J. Bohlender

Vocal fatigue has been described as a common complaint in patients with voice disorders. However to date there is no standardized questionnaire in german language to assess specific symptoms. Main aim of this prospective study is to assess the validity and retest reliability of the first german version of the Vocal Fatigue Index (VFI), an english questionnaire developed for voice patients to assess potential symptoms of vocal fatigue.

Projekt 3

Effect of Vocal Intensity on Cepstral Peak Prominence and Spectral Slope in Women with and without Voice Disorders

M. Brockmann-Bauser, J. Bohlender, R. Hillman, J. H. Van Stan, D. Mehta

Spectrum based instrumental acoustic voice measures such as smoothed cepstral peak prominence (CPPS) and spectral slope have been associated with laryngeal pathology and perceptual voice quality in voice patients. Recent work has shown that the spectral measure of Harmonics-to-Noise-Ratio (HNR) increases with elevated voice sound pressure level (SPL) in healthy speakers and individuals with voice disorders. It is unclear if similar SPL effects are present in cepstral and other spectral measures. Therefore, main aim of the present study is to investigate SPL effects on CPPS and spectral slope in women with and without voice disorders.

Cooperation Partners
  • Center for Laryngeal Surgery and Voice Rehabilitation, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA, Prof. R. Hillman, Dr. D. Mehta, Dr. J. van Stan
  • Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaft und Kunst Hildesheim/Holzminden/Göttingen, Deutschland, Prof. U. Beushausen
  • KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Dept. for Speech Music and Hearing, Stockholm, Sweden, Prof. S. Ternström
  • School of Education University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland; Ear and Oral Diseases, Department of Phoniatrics, in Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland, C. Munier, Dr. I. Ilomäki, Dr. E. Kankare, Prof. A. Laukkanen, Dr. A. Geneid
  • Federal University of Bahia, Dept. of Speech-Language and Hearing Sciences, Salvador-BA, Brasilia, Prof. M. L. Masson, Prof. M. F. De Paula Soares
  • Universität Fribourg, Departement für Sonder- und Heilpädagogik, Fribourg, Schweiz, S. Bauer MA




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