Voice Quality Variation In Scottish Adolescents: Gender Versus Geography
Beck, Janet M.
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Beck, J. & Schaeffler, F. (2015) Voice Quality Variation In Scottish Adolescents: Gender Versus Geography, Proceedings of the 18th ICPhS, Glasgow, , , ,
Given the importance of voice quality in signalling personal identity and social group membership, effective control of voice features may become especially important during adolescence, yet this has to be achieved in the context of significant physical changes within the speech production system. Most previous research has focussed on phonation, but this study used Vocal Profile Analysis (VPA)  for perceptual analysis of both laryngeal and vocal tract voice settings in Scottish adolescents, in order to identify voice quality markers of gender and geographical background in this age group. VPA analysis was carried out for 76 speakers (31 male; 45 female), drawn from three geographically distinct areas of Scotland. Some of the observed variation in voice quality (especially phonatory settings) may be attributable to physical changes associated with puberty, but other setting adjustments seem more likely to be sociophonetic in origin.Background. Protein-energy wasting is a frequent anddebilitating condition in maintenance dialysis. We randomlytested if an energy-dense, phosphate-restricted,renal-specific oral supplement couldmaintain adequate nutritional intake and prevent malnutrition in maintenancehaemodialysis patients with insufficient intake.Methods. Eighty-six patients were assigned to a standardcare (CTRL) group or were prescribed two 125-ml packsof Renilon 7.5 R daily for 3 months (SUPP). Dietary intake, serum (S) albumin, prealbumin, protein nitrogen appearance(nPNA), C-reactive protein, subjective global assessment(SGA) and quality of life (QOL) were recorded atbaseline and after 3 months.Results. While intention to treat analysis (ITT) did not reveal strong statistically significant changes in dietary intake between groups, per protocol (PP) analysis showed that theSUPP group increased protein (P < 0.01) and energy (P <0.01) intakes. In contrast, protein and energy intakes further deteriorated in the CTRL group (PP). Although there was no difference in serum albumin and prealbumin changesbetween groups, in the total population serum albumin andprealbumin changes were positively associated with the increment in protein intake (r = 0.29, P = 0.01 and r = 0.27, P = 0.02, respectively). The SUPP group did not increase phosphate intake, phosphataemia remained unaffected, and the use of phosphate binders remained stable or decreased. The SUPP group exhibited improved SGA and QOL (P < 0.05).Conclusion. This study shows that providing maintenancehaemodialysis patientswith insufficient intake with a renal-specific oral supplement may prevent deterioration in nutritional indices and QOL without increasing the need forphosphate binders.