Research Article| Volume 33, ISSUE 5, P659-668, September 2019

Feasibility of the Fake Phone Call: An iOS App for Covert, Public Practice of Voice Technique for Generalization Training

  • Eva van Leer
    Address correspondence and reprint requests to Eva van Leer, Department of Education Psychology, Special Education and Communication Disorders, College of Education, Georgia State University, 30 Pryor Street Room 808, Atlanta 30303, GA.
    Department of Education Psychology, Special Education and Communication Disorders, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia
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  • Nick Porcaro
    moForte, Inc. Mountain View, California
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      Generalization is a challenging phase in voice therapy, involving the implementation of a targeted voice technique in all spoken communication. Among other barriers to generalization, self-consciousness keeps patients from practicing and recalibrating their voice technique when they can be overheard (eg, at work). We developed an iOS application that covertly assists users in producing their target voice while they appear to be engaged in a cellular phone call.


      To examine the feasibility of this Fake Phone Call, 11 adults in the generalization stage of voice therapy received a simulated call four times daily for 1 week. Usability, utility, and preliminary efficacy of the application were assessed via triangulated measures including self-report scales, a semistructured interview, and perceptual voice quality assessment of each completed phone call.


      Results indicated good feasibility, usability, and utility of the Fake Phone Call in eliciting target voice practice in public without bystander detection of the call's simulated nature. Preliminary efficacy data suggested a positive effect on vocal self-evaluation skill.


      The Fake Phone Call and comparable mobile strategies hold potential to facilitate covert public practice and generalization of a speaking-voice technique.

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