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Does the use of voice output communication devices make a difference in the communication and quality of life of people with significant speech disabilities
DISSERTATION

, Temple University, United States

Doctor of Philosophy, Temple University . Awarded

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between the use of voice output augmentative communication devices and the effectiveness of communication and quality of life of people with significant speech disabilities. Sixty-five adults with significant speech disabilities, 45 (69%) of whom use and 20 (31%) of whom do not use voice output communication devices, participated in this study. Their participation consisted of completing two survey instruments: (a) Consumer Survey on Communicative Effectiveness (Slesaransky-Poe, 1996), and (b) Quality of Life Questionnaire (Schalock & Keith, 1993).

The Consumer Survey on Communicative Effectiveness measured communicative effectiveness along five dimensions: (a) General Communication; (b) Independence; (c) Productivity; (d) Inclusion; and (e) Satisfaction. The Quality of Life Questionnaire measured quality of life along four dimensions: (a) Independence; (b) Productivity; (c) Inclusion; and (d) Satisfaction.

Primary analysis of the results indicated that: (1) adults with significant speech disabilities who use voice output augmentative communication devices communicate more effectively than people with significant speech disabilities who do not use voice output devices (p $<$.001). (2) adults with significant speech disabilities who use voice output devices communicate more effectively when they use their devices than when they do not use them (p $<$.001). (3) there are no significant differences between the quality of life of adults with significant speech disabilities who use voice output communication devices and those who do not.

To further understand the lack of significant differences in the quality of life scores between the Voice Output Communication Aid (VOCA) and Non-VOCA groups, a series of secondary analyses were performed. In sum, these additional analyses indicated that the use of voice output communication devices increases the communicative effectiveness as it relates to independence, productivity, inclusion and satisfaction of people with significant speech disabilities. Implications and recommendations for future policy and research are presented, including the importance and complexity of defining and measuring quality of life and its relationship to the use of voice output communication.

Citation

Slesaransky-Poe, G.L. Does the use of voice output communication devices make a difference in the communication and quality of life of people with significant speech disabilities. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, Temple University. Retrieved November 19, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 22, 2013. [Original Record]

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