The Reliability and Validity of Speech Language Pathologists' Estimations of Speech Intelligibility in Dysarthria
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Description: The current study examined the reliability and validity of speech-language pathologists’ (SLP) estimations of speech intelligibility in dysarthria, including a visual analog scale (VAS) method and a percent estimation method commonly used in clinical settings. Speech samples from 20 speakers with dysarthria were used to collect orthographic transcriptions from naïve listeners (n=70) and VAS ratings and percent estimations of intelligibility from SLPs (n=21). Intra- and interrater reliability for the two SLP intelligibility measures were evaluated, and the relationship between these measures was assessed. Finally, linear regression was used to evaluate the relationship between the naïve listeners’ orthographic transcription scores and the two SLP intelligibility measures. The results indicated the intrarater agreement for both the SLP intelligibility measures was high, and the interrater agreement between the SLP ratings was moderate to excellent. Additionally, a moderate positive relationship between SLPs’ VAS ratings and percent estimations was observed. Finally, both SLPs’ percent estimations and VAS ratings were predictive of naïve listeners’ orthographic transcription scores, with SLPs’ percent estimations being the strongest predictor. In conclusion, the aggregate SLP intelligibility estimations and VAS ratings are valid and reliable measures for estimating intelligibility. However, the validity and reliability of these measures vary between SLPs.