Emotional Prosody Measurement (EPM): A voice-based evaluation method for psychological therapy effectiveness

Egon van den Broek

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)
    131 Downloads (Pure)


    The voice embodies three sources of information: speech, the identity, and the emotional state of the speaker (i.e., emotional prosody). The latter feature is resembled by the variability of the F0 (also named fundamental frequency of pitch) (SD F0). To extract this feature, Emotional Prosody Measurement (EPM) was developed, which consists of 1) speech recording, 2) removal of speckle noise, 3) a Fourier Transform to extract the F0-signal, and 4) the determination of SD F0. After a pilot study in which six participants mimicked emotions by their voice, the core experiment was conducted to see whether EPM is successful. Twenty-five patients suffering from a panic disorder with agoraphobia participated. Two methods (storytelling and reliving) were used to trigger anxiety and were compared with comparable but more relaxed conditions. This resulted in a unique database of speech samples that was used to compare the EPM with the Subjective Unit of Distress to validate it as measure for anxiety/stress. The experimental manipulation of anxiety proved to be successful and EPM proved to be a successful evaluation method for psychological therapy effectiveness.
    Original languageUndefined
    Title of host publicationMedical and Care Compunetics
    EditorsLodewijk Bos, Swamy Laxminarayan, Andy Marsh
    Place of PublicationAmsterdam, The Netherlands
    PublisherIOS Press
    Number of pages8
    ISBN (Print)978-1-58603-431-3
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2004

    Publication series

    NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
    PublisherIOS Press
    ISSN (Print)0926-9630


    • Emotion
    • Anxiety
    • Affective Computing
    • IR-78634
    • EWI-20856
    • pitch
    • HMI-HF: Human Factors
    • Subjective Unit of Distress (SUD)
    • Stress
    • Speech
    • Prosody
    • HMI-SLT: Speech and Language Technology
    • fundamental frequency (F0)

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