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Crowdbased Assessment of Communicative Impairment in Dysarthria – Development and Evaluation of the KommPaS WebApp

Katharina Lehner & Wolfram Ziegler

KommPaS Study Group – Clinical cooperation partners:

  • Schön Klinik München Schwabing
  • Asklepios Klinik Schaufling
  • Stiftung ICP München
  • Krankenhaus Agatharied
  • Kliniken Schmieder Allensbach
  • St. Mauritius Therapieklinik Meerbusch
  • Marianne-Strauß-Klinik Berg
  • m&i-Fachklinik Enzensberg
  • Hegau-Jugendwerk Gailingen
  • Asklepios Stadtklinik Bad Tölz
  • NeuroKom Bad Tölz
  • Mutabor e.V. – Therapeutische Tagesstätte München

Project description:

Clinical assessment of dysarthria has so far focused almost exclusively on the description of the functional impairment of phonation, articulation, respiration and prosody by experts. However, the profile of the functional impairment does not provide direct information on the impact of dysarthria on communication success. The decisive factors are, for instance, how intelligible speech is and how unnatural it appears to the interlocutors.
The therapists cannot replace the impression of the environment, as they would adapt to the individual way of speaking of the patients in the course of time and, for example, overestimate the intelligibility. In addition, their phonetic-analytical hearing falsifies the evaluation of the "naturalness" of speech - the very spontaneous and global impression of how natural or unnatural the respective way of speaking appears.

In this project, a novel web-based telediagnostic method for measuring communicative parameters in speech disorders (KommPaS) is being evaluated. The procedure is based on the judgements of lay listeners recruited via online crowdsourcing. On the basis of 30 controlled sentences, which are read or repeated by the person with dysarthria under the supervision of a therapist, the following four parameters are evaluated: intelligibility, naturalness, perceived listener effort and communicative efficiency.
In addition to investigating material influence factors and the relationship between the four KommPaS parameters, important questions regarding test efficiency, reliability and validity of the test will be addressed. The project also serves as preparation for an extensive test standardization.

The project is funded by:

  • Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes
  • Bayerische Sparkassenstiftung
  • RehaHilfe e.V.


Lehner, K., Pfab, J., & Ziegler, W. (under review). Web-based assessment of communication-related parameters in dysarthria: Development and implementation of the KommPaS web app. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics.

Lehner, K., & Ziegler, W. (2019). Crowdbasierte Methoden in der Diagnostik neurologischer Sprechstörungen [Crowdbased methods in the assessment of neurological speech disorders]. Aphasie und verwandte Gebiete 46, 28-33.

Lehner, K., & Ziegler, W. (2021a). The Impact of Lexical and Articulatory Factors in the Automatic Selection of Test Materials for a Web-Based Assessment of Intelligibility in Dysarthria. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research.

Lehner, K., & Ziegler, W. (2021b). Online-Crowdsourcing als „KommPaS“ in der kommunikationsbezogenen Dysarthriediagnostik [Online Crowdsourcing as a „KommPaS“ in Communication-Related Dysarthria Diagnostics]. Sprache Stimme Gehör, 45(1), 27-31.

Lehner, K., Ziegler, W., & KommPaS Study Group. (under review-a). Clinical measures of communication limitations in dysarthria assessed through crowdsourcing: Specificity, sensitivity, and retest-reliability. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics.

Lehner, K., Ziegler, W., & KommPaS Study Group. (under review-b). Indicators of communication limitation in dysarthria and their relation to auditory-perceptual speech symptoms: Construct validity of the KommPaS WebApp. Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research.

Ziegler, W., Lehner, K., & KommPaS Study Group. (2021). Crowdsourcing as a tool in the clinical assessment of intelligibility in dysarthria: How to deal with excessive variation. Journal of Communication Disorders, 93, 106135.