Authors: Holmberg EB, Hillman RE, Hammarberg B, Sodersten M, Doyle P
Title: Efficacy of a Behaviorally Based Voice Therapy Protocol for Vocal Nodules
Source: Journal Of Voice 2001 15(3): 395-412
Year: 2001
Research Design: Case Series

The aim of this study was to assess the effects on vocal function of voice therapy for vocal nodules. Perceptual and physiological progressive changes were examined during a strictly structured, behaviorally based voice therapy protocol in which 11 women with vocal nodules participated. Randomized audio recordings from pretherapy and from each of the therapy approaches (vocal hygiene, respiration, direct facilitation, carryover) were used for perceptual evaluations. Six speech-language pathologists rated ten voice quality parameters. Two evaluation procedures were performed and compared. Interlistener reliability was sufficiently high in both tests. Significant effects of therapy were found for decreased overall dysphonia, press, instability, gratings, roughness, vocal fry, and "scrape." Nonsignificant group effects were found for breathiness, aphonic instances, and lack of sonority. No significant parameter changes occurred between baseline assessment and the completion of the initial (vocal hygiene) phase of therapy. Significant changes were found following the direct facilitation and respiration phases of therapy. Videostroboscopic evaluations made by two laryngologists showed that in no case were the nodules completely resolved. However, the nodules had decreased in size and edema was reduced after therapy for all clients, but one. Combined results suggest: (1) Alterations in vocal function were reflected in perceptual parameters, and (2) the voice therapy had a positive effect on voice quality, vocal status, and vocal function for the majority of the vocal nodule clients.

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