Speech Production and Speech with a Phrenic Nerve Pacer

Jeannette D. Hoit, Steven A. Shea

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A phrenic nerve pacer is a neural prosthesis used by some individuals with ventilatory insufficiency. This report provides a description of the phrenic nerve pacer and contains a case study of a young man in whom speech production during phrenic nerve pacing was examined and contrasted to that during mechanical (positive-pressure) ventilation. Results revealed that the physical mechanisms used to produce speech and the resultant speech output differed under these two ventilatory conditions. Listener judgments indicated that speech produced with a phrenic nerve pacer was strongly preferred over that produced with a mechanical ventilator, primarily because it was more continuous and contained fewer and shorter pauses. This continuity was due, in part, to a conservation-of-air strategy employed by the speaker. These observations have important clinical implications for speech-language pathologists responsible for enhancing spoken communication skills in clients requiring ventilatory support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-60
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of speech-language pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1996


  • Neural prosthesis
  • Phrenic nerve pacer
  • Speech breathing
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Ventilatory insufficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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