This study aimed to conduct a 3-session reliability assessment of the laryngeal electromyography (LEMG) signal in healthy participants during intensity controlled vocalization tasks. We hypothesized that vocal intensity level and testing session would affect LEMG measures.
This prospective study used a 2-factor repeated measures design. Seven participants underwent bipolar needle LEMG of the right thyroarytenoid muscle. Data were collected over 3 testing sessions using vocalization tasks performed with visually guided intensity feedback targets (65 and 75 dB SPL). Root mean square amplitudes in microvolts were analyzed for within-session and between-session reliability.
The main effect for intensity was found to approach significance (F = 5.71, P = .054). However, intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) using a 2-factor mixed random effect model indicated poor to fair signal reliability between testing sessions (ICC = 0.56 at 65 dB, 0.40 at 70 dB). Intraclass correlation coefficients for within-session data indicated excellent reliability for all testing conditions (0.84–0.98).
Using a quantitative analysis protocol to inform an essentially qualitative technique, our results indicated that there was generally poor to fair reliability in the LEMG signal over testing sessions. Vocal intensity was an important variable that affected LEMG signal reliability. Standardization of LEMG protocols using vocal control parameters and quantitative analyses may help improve LEMG reliability in clinical settings.
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Available at: http://works.bepress.com/tim_uhl/64/