Consensus Auditory-Perceptual Evaluation of
Voice (CAPE-V) - ASHA Special Interest Division 3,
Voice and Voice Disorders

PURPOSE AND APPLICATIONS

The Consensus Auditory-Perceptual Evaluation of Voice (CAPE-V) was developed as a tool for clinical auditory-perceptual assessment of voice. Its primary purpose is to describe the severity of auditory-perceptual attributes of a voice problem, in a way that can be communicated among clinicians. Its secondary purpose is to contribute to hypotheses regarding the anatomic and physiological bases of voice problems and to evaluate the need for additional testing.

CAPE-V is not intended for use as the only means of determining the nature of the voice disorder. It is not to be used to the exclusion of other tests of vocal function. Finally, it is not expected to demonstrate a 1:1 relation to results from other tests of vocal function.

ORIGIN

The CAPE-V was developed from a consensus meeting sponsored by the American Speech-Language- Hearing Association’s (ASHA) Division 3: Voice and Voice Disorders, and the Department of Communication Science and Disorders, University of Pittsburgh, held in Pittsburgh on June 10-11, 2002. Attending this meeting were speech-language pathologists (SLPs) who specialize in voice disorders and invited experts in human perception (see appendix). The participants’ charge was to develop standardized guidelines for auditory-perceptual evaluation of voice, based on theory and data in psychoacoustics, psychometric scaling, and voice perception. Clinical practicality and brevity of administration were also considered in developing these guidelines.

A working group was charged to formalize a consensus statement about minimal recommended standards for optimizing auditory-perceptual judgments in the clinical assessment of voice disorders by speech-language pathologists. The CAPE-V is the initial product. The hope is that widespread use of the current CAPE-V and its future development will encourage a more consistent approach and ultimately more research in the perceptual evaluation of voice disorders. The present document is the preliminary result of the consensus meeting. The ultimate goal is standardization of a reliable tool for clinical voice quality measurement.

DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

The consensus was that the clinical evaluation of auditory-perceptual characteristics of voice should be derived from a tool with the following attributes: (a) perceptual dimensions should reflect a minimal set of clinically meaningful, perceptual voice parameters, identified by a group of expert clinicians; (b) procedures and results should be obtainable expediently; (c) procedures and results should be applicable to a broad range of vocal pathologies and clinical settings; (d) ratings ultimately should be demonstrated to optimize reliability within and across clinicians, and (e) ultimately, exemplars should be available for training.