Investigating the Variability of Voice Quality and Pain Levels as a Function of Multiple Clinical Parameters

Hui-Ting Hong, Jeng-Lin Li, Yi-Ming Weng, Chip-Jin Ng, Chi-Chun Lee


Pain is an internal construct with vocal manifestation that varies as a function of personal and clinical attributes. Understanding the vocal indicators of pain-levels is important in providing an objective analytic in clinical assessment and intervention. In this work, we focus on investigating the variability of voice quality as a function of multiple clinical parameters at different pain-levels, specifically for emergency room patients during triage. Their pain-induced pathological voice quality characteristics are naturally affected by an individual attributes such as age, gender and pain-sites. We conduct a detailed multivariate statistical analysis on a 181 unique patient’s vocal quality using recordings of real triage sessions. Our analysis show several important insights, 1) voice quality only varies statistically with pain-levels when interacting effect from other clinical parameters is considered, 2) senior group shows a higher value of voicing probability and shimmer when experiencing severe pain, 3) patients with abdomen pain have a lower jitter and shimmer during severe pain that is different from patients experiencing musculoskeletal pathology, and 4) there could be a relationship between the variation in the voice quality and the neural pathway of pain as evident by interacting with the pain-site factor.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2247

Cite as: Hong, H., Li, J., Weng, Y., Ng, C., Lee, C. (2019) Investigating the Variability of Voice Quality and Pain Levels as a Function of Multiple Clinical Parameters. Proc. Interspeech 2019, 3058-3062, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2247.


@inproceedings{Hong2019,
  author={Hui-Ting Hong and Jeng-Lin Li and Yi-Ming Weng and Chip-Jin Ng and Chi-Chun Lee},
  title={{Investigating the Variability of Voice Quality and Pain Levels as a Function of Multiple Clinical Parameters}},
  year=2019,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2019},
  pages={3058--3062},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2247},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2019-2247}
}