Master of Arts (MA)


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Document Type



Perceptual judgment has been the gold standard in clinical practice, especially regarding differential diagnosis and treatment of dysarthria. Thus, it is critical to establish the reliability of perceptual ratings of the speech characteristics associated with different types of dysarthria. Despite its importance, the reliability and sensitivity of perceptual ratings of speech disturbance have been somewhat questioned. The purpose of this study was to examine the interrater reliability of ratings of perceptual characteristics and the saliency of these characteristics as related to hypokinetic dysarthria. Due to the feasibility issue, the scope of the study was limited to hypokinetic dysarthria associated with Parkinson’s disease. Eight subjects with hypokinetic dysarthia and three healthy controls were selected from a large dysarthria speech database for the study. All dysarthia subjects were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and dysarthria. Recordings of a standard reading passage were played to 148 raters who were inexperienced undergraduate students majoring in communication sciences and disorders at Louisiana State University. Raters’ results were statistically analyzed to determine interrater reliability across 37 dimensions. The mean score value of each dimension was also calculated for the control and Parkinson group and statistically compared to determine the most salient dimensions. Results demonstrated relatively low intra-rater reliability with 52 listeners of 148 demonstrating reliability above 0.60. Interrater reliability for dimensions ranged from 0.007 to 0.730. Twenty-four dimensions were identified as salient for hypokinetic dysarthria, all of which were statistically different between the control speaker group and the PD speaker group.



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Committee Chair

Kim, Yunjung