Effect of FFP2/3 Masks on Voice Range Profile Measurement and Voice Acoustics in Routine Voice Diagnostics
Introduction: Voice diagnostics including voice range profile (VRP) measurement and acoustic voice analysis is essential in laryngology and phoniatrics. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, wearing of 2 or 3 filtering face piece (FFP2/3) masks is recommended when high-risk aerosol-generating procedures like singing and speaking are being performed. Goal of this study was to compare VRP parameters when performed without and with FFP2/3 masks. Further, formant analysis for sustained vowels, singer’s formant, and analysis of reading standard text samples were performed without/with FFP2/3 masks.
Methods: Twenty subjects (6 males and 14 females) were enrolled in this study with an average age of 36 ± 16 years (mean ± SD). Fourteen patients were rated as euphonic/not hoarse and 6 patients as mildly hoarse. All subjects underwent the VRP measurements, vowel, and text recordings without/with FFP2/3 mask using the software DiVAS by XION medical (Berlin, Germany). Voice range of singing voice, equivalent of voice extension measure (eVEM), fundamental frequency (F0), sound pressure level (SPL) of soft speaking and shouting were calculated and analyzed. Maximum phonation time (MPT) and jitter-% were included for Dysphonia Severity Index (DSI) measurement. Analyses of singer’s formant were performed. Spectral analyses of sustained vowels /a:/, /i:/, and /u:/ (first = F1 and second = F2 formants), intensity of long-term average spectrum, and alpha-ratio were calculated using the freeware praat.
Results: For all subjects, the mean values of routine voice parameters without/with mask were analyzed: no significant differences were found in results of singing voice range, eVEM, SPL, and frequency of soft speaking/shouting, except significantly lower mean SPL of shouting with FFP2/3 mask, in particular that of the female subjects (p = 0.002). Results of MPT, jitter, and DSI without/with FFP2/3 mask showed no significant differences. Further mean values analyzed without/with mask were ratio singer’s formant/loud singing, with lower ratio with FFP2/3 mask (p = 0.001), and F1 and F2 of /a:/, /i:/, /u:/, with no significant differences of the results, with the exception of F2 of /i:/ with lower value with FFP2/3 mask (p = 0.005). With the exceptions mentioned, the t test revealed no significant differences for each of the routine parameters tested in the recordings without and with wearing a FFP2/3 mask.
Conclusion: It can be concluded that VRP measurements including DSI performed with FFP2/3 masks provide reliable data in clinical routine with respect to voice condition/constitution. Spectral analyses of sustained vowel, text, and singer’s formant will be affected by wearing FFP2/3 masks.
Wenn Sie dbl-Mitglied sind, können Sie den Artikel kostenlos auf www.karger.com lesen.
Die Zugangsdaten finden Sie als eingeloggtes dbl-Mitglied auf der dbl-Website unter "Meine Daten".