Assessment of Rate and Consistency in Performance of Diadochokinetic Task in Children and Adults Using an Automated Assessment Protocol: A Preliminary Study



In spite of various methodological controversies, Diadochokinetic (DDK) task is a widely used measure that differentiates persons with and without speech disorders by assessing the rate of movement of articulators for production of syllabic utterances. Normative data reported for this measure for children and adults differ in the methodology used and lack consistency across studies. This study was a preliminary attempt to establish normative rate consistency and accuracy data of DDK measures specific to Indian population across age, and gender using an efficient and automated assessment protocol (Motor Speech Profile 5141, Kay Pentax) for comparison of clinical samples but such data is not published in literature.

A total of 38 participants (19 children of 6;0 – 11;11 years and 19 adults of 18;0 – 24;11 years) performed three trials of monosyllabic bilabial token of DDK task for 8 seconds recorded on the Motor Speech Profile 5141. The best trial was subjected to DDK analysis protocol for obtaining rate and accuracy measures. The data was analyzed descriptively for mean DDK scores in each age group. Multivariate analysis showed no gender but age effect on rate measures with longer DDK period and reduced DDK rate in children compared to adults (p < 0.01). Contrary to existing literature, the accuracy measures showed no age or gender effects. This study compliments the previous reports that DDK rates are age related and the findings affirm the need to establish normative specific to the population tested on DDK measures.


Diadochokinetic, motor speech, automated assessment.

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