Authors: Senkal O, Ciyiltepe M
Title: Effects of voice therapy in school-age children
Source: Journal Of Voice 2013 27(6): 787.e19-787.e25
Year: 2013
Research Design: Case Series

Objectives: To assess the overall efficacy of voice therapy for dysphonia in school-age children in two different cities in Turkey. Study Design: Retrospective cohort study. Methods: Ninety-nine outpatients aged 7-15 years with persistent hoarseness for at least 2 months as a primary symptom. Ratings of the Grade, Roughness, Breathiness, Asthenia, and Strain (GRBAS) scale, s/z ratio, and maximum phonation time (MPT). Voice therapy outcome data collected on three types of voice therapy (physiological, hygienic, and symptomatic). Setting: Outpatient clinics in university hospitals in two different cities in Turkey. Results: Voice therapy improved voice quality as assessed by an observer according to GRBAS rating system (P < 0.0001). All the subjects demonstrated varying degrees of hoarseness (G1-G3) and strained (S1-S3) voices. Varying degrees of roughness (R1-R3) and breathiness (B1-B3) were also noted. In general, changes to the value of the grade (the measure of the overall degree of voice deviance) were statistically significant (t = -8.3; P < 0.0001) before and after therapy. Significant changes were found in the s/z ratio when the values were compared before and after therapy sessions (t = 11.08; P < 0.0001). Changes in MPT were statistically significant for all types of voice therapy (P < 0.0001). Conclusions:Vocal nodules were the main cause of the school-age children's voice problems, accounting for 62.6% of the cases. Different types of voice therapy techniques could be used in school-age children. Many of these techniques can successfully restore the normal voice. However, in this study, all subjective voice ratings such as GRBAS, s/z ratio, and MPT statistically changed by symptomatic voice therapy techniques. Symptomatic voice therapy was found to be a successful method of therapy.

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