From Speech Acoustics to Communicative Participation in Dysarthria: Toward a Causal Framework

Stephanie A. Borrie, Camille J. Wynn, Visar Berisha, Tyson S. Barrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: We proposed and tested a causal instantiation of the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) framework, linking acoustics, intelligibility, and communicative participation in the context of dysarthria. Method: Speech samples and communicative participation scores were collected from individuals with dysarthria (n = 32). Speech was analyzed for two acoustic metrics (i.e., articulatory precision and speech rate), and an objective measure of intelligibility was generated from listener transcripts. Mediation analysis was used to evaluate pathways of effect between acoustics, intelligibility, and communicative participation. Results: We observed a strong relationship between articulatory precision and intelligibility and a moderate relationship between intelligibility and communicative participation. Collectively, data supported a significant relationship between articulatory precision and communicative participation, which was almost entirely mediated through intelligibility. These relationships were not significant when speech rate was specified as the acoustic variable of interest. Conclusion: The statistical corroboration of our causal instantiation of the ICF framework with articulatory acoustics affords important support toward the development of a comprehensive causal framework to understand and, ultimately, address restricted communicative participation in dysarthria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-418
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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