Authors: Lombard LE, Steinhauer KM
Title: A novel treatment for hypophonic voice: Twang therapy
Source: Journal Of Voice 2007 21(3): 294-299
Year: 2007
Research Design: Case Series

A hypophonic voice, characterized perceptually as weak and breathy, is associated with voice disorders such as vocal fold atrophy and unilateral vocal fold paralysis. Although voice therapy programs for hypophonia typically address the vocal folds or the sound source, twang voice quality was examined in this study as an alternative technique for increasing vocal power by altering the epilarynx or the sound filter. OBJECTIVE: This study investigated the effect of twang production on physiologic, acoustic, and perceived voice handicap measures in speakers with hypophonia. DESIGN/METHODS: This prospective pilot study compared the vocal outcomes of six participants with hypophonia at pre- and posttreatment time points. Outcome measures included mean airflow rate, intensity in dB sound pressure level (SPL), maximum phonation time, and self-report of voice handicap. RESULTS: All subjects improved in at least three of the four vocal outcome measures. Wilcoxon signed-rank test of paired differences revealed significant differences between pre- and posttherapy group means for airflow rate, SPL, and Voice Handicap Index scores. CONCLUSION: The twang voice quality as a manipulation of the sound filter offers a clinical complement to traditional voice therapies that primarily address the sound source.

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