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A quantitative and qualitative evaluation of an automatic occlusion device for tracheoesophageal speech: The Provox Freehands HME.

By Rachel Hamadé, Nigel Hewlett and Emer Scanlon


This study aimed to evaluate a new automatic tracheostoma valve: the Provox FreeHands HME\ud (manufactured by Atos Medical AB, Sweden). Data from four laryngectomee participants using\ud automatic and also manual occlusion were subjected to acoustic and perceptual analysis. The main\ud results were a significant decrease, from the manual to automatic occlusion condition, in maximum\ud phonation time, mean intensity of read speech and percentage pause time. There was an increase in\ud random noise in the speech signal and a significant increase in extraneous noise caused by the device.\ud Perceptual analysis revealed no clear functional impact of these differences. Data from a\ud questionnaire and diary suggested the main advantage of automatic occlusion was the freedom to\ud speak while performing manual tasks. The principal disadvantage appeared to be a decrease in baseplate\ud seal duration. The results suggest that, for some clients, the FreeHands valve is a useful option\ud for use alongside manual occlusion

Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Year: 2006
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