A case study of vocal features associated with galvanic skin response to stressors in a clinical interaction

Marie Nilsenova, Erik Holt, Lena Heyn, Kim Groeneveld, Arnstein Finset

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    Abstract

    Objective
    We investigated vocal characteristics associated with physiologically determined stressful episodes by means of post-hoc acoustic analyses of speech recorded in a clinical setting. Our research addressed the understudied question of which vocal features may serve as cues naturally occurring stress and is the first to explore this issue in a pitch accent language.

    Methods
    The vocal profile of a single female patient interacting with a physician was analyzed with standard speech analysis software for acoustic indicators of stress-related arousal determined by galvanic skin response measurements.

    Results
    Vocal jitter, representing an aspect of voice quality perceived as hoarseness, appeared to increase during and immediately after skin conductance response intervals. Skin conductance levels during the response intervals were negatively correlated with acoustic features used to approximate the perception of voice unsteadiness (slope and standard deviation of fundamental frequency).

    Conclusion
    An acoustic analysis of vocal properties of speech uttered during independently detected skin conductance response intervals revealed individual patterns for some acoustic features linked to stress in earlier studies.

    Practice implications
    Non-invasive methods of arousal detection in physician-patient communication based on acoustic analyses of vocal profiles may, in combination with other analyses, help identify stressful events and thus improve the process of medical information gathering and decision-making.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPatient Education and Counseling
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2016

    Fingerprint

    Galvanic Skin Response
    Acoustics
    Voice Quality
    Physicians
    Cues
    Language
    Communication

    Keywords

    • Medical communication; Psychophysiology; Voice; Stress

    Cite this

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    title = "A case study of vocal features associated with galvanic skin response to stressors in a clinical interaction",
    abstract = "ObjectiveWe investigated vocal characteristics associated with physiologically determined stressful episodes by means of post-hoc acoustic analyses of speech recorded in a clinical setting. Our research addressed the understudied question of which vocal features may serve as cues naturally occurring stress and is the first to explore this issue in a pitch accent language.MethodsThe vocal profile of a single female patient interacting with a physician was analyzed with standard speech analysis software for acoustic indicators of stress-related arousal determined by galvanic skin response measurements.ResultsVocal jitter, representing an aspect of voice quality perceived as hoarseness, appeared to increase during and immediately after skin conductance response intervals. Skin conductance levels during the response intervals were negatively correlated with acoustic features used to approximate the perception of voice unsteadiness (slope and standard deviation of fundamental frequency).ConclusionAn acoustic analysis of vocal properties of speech uttered during independently detected skin conductance response intervals revealed individual patterns for some acoustic features linked to stress in earlier studies.Practice implicationsNon-invasive methods of arousal detection in physician-patient communication based on acoustic analyses of vocal profiles may, in combination with other analyses, help identify stressful events and thus improve the process of medical information gathering and decision-making.",
    keywords = "Medical communication; Psychophysiology; Voice; Stress",
    author = "Marie Nilsenova and Erik Holt and Lena Heyn and Kim Groeneveld and Arnstein Finset",
    year = "2016",
    month = "3",
    day = "7",
    doi = "doi:10.1016/j.pec.2016.03.006",
    language = "English",
    journal = "Patient Education and Counseling",
    issn = "0738-3991",
    publisher = "Elsevier Ireland Ltd",

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    A case study of vocal features associated with galvanic skin response to stressors in a clinical interaction. / Nilsenova, Marie; Holt, Erik; Heyn, Lena; Groeneveld, Kim; Finset, Arnstein.

    In: Patient Education and Counseling, 07.03.2016.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - A case study of vocal features associated with galvanic skin response to stressors in a clinical interaction

    AU - Nilsenova, Marie

    AU - Holt, Erik

    AU - Heyn, Lena

    AU - Groeneveld, Kim

    AU - Finset, Arnstein

    PY - 2016/3/7

    Y1 - 2016/3/7

    N2 - ObjectiveWe investigated vocal characteristics associated with physiologically determined stressful episodes by means of post-hoc acoustic analyses of speech recorded in a clinical setting. Our research addressed the understudied question of which vocal features may serve as cues naturally occurring stress and is the first to explore this issue in a pitch accent language.MethodsThe vocal profile of a single female patient interacting with a physician was analyzed with standard speech analysis software for acoustic indicators of stress-related arousal determined by galvanic skin response measurements.ResultsVocal jitter, representing an aspect of voice quality perceived as hoarseness, appeared to increase during and immediately after skin conductance response intervals. Skin conductance levels during the response intervals were negatively correlated with acoustic features used to approximate the perception of voice unsteadiness (slope and standard deviation of fundamental frequency).ConclusionAn acoustic analysis of vocal properties of speech uttered during independently detected skin conductance response intervals revealed individual patterns for some acoustic features linked to stress in earlier studies.Practice implicationsNon-invasive methods of arousal detection in physician-patient communication based on acoustic analyses of vocal profiles may, in combination with other analyses, help identify stressful events and thus improve the process of medical information gathering and decision-making.

    AB - ObjectiveWe investigated vocal characteristics associated with physiologically determined stressful episodes by means of post-hoc acoustic analyses of speech recorded in a clinical setting. Our research addressed the understudied question of which vocal features may serve as cues naturally occurring stress and is the first to explore this issue in a pitch accent language.MethodsThe vocal profile of a single female patient interacting with a physician was analyzed with standard speech analysis software for acoustic indicators of stress-related arousal determined by galvanic skin response measurements.ResultsVocal jitter, representing an aspect of voice quality perceived as hoarseness, appeared to increase during and immediately after skin conductance response intervals. Skin conductance levels during the response intervals were negatively correlated with acoustic features used to approximate the perception of voice unsteadiness (slope and standard deviation of fundamental frequency).ConclusionAn acoustic analysis of vocal properties of speech uttered during independently detected skin conductance response intervals revealed individual patterns for some acoustic features linked to stress in earlier studies.Practice implicationsNon-invasive methods of arousal detection in physician-patient communication based on acoustic analyses of vocal profiles may, in combination with other analyses, help identify stressful events and thus improve the process of medical information gathering and decision-making.

    KW - Medical communication; Psychophysiology; Voice; Stress

    U2 - doi:10.1016/j.pec.2016.03.006

    DO - doi:10.1016/j.pec.2016.03.006

    M3 - Article

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    JF - Patient Education and Counseling

    SN - 0738-3991

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