Authors: Meerschman I, Claeys S, Bettens K, Bruneel L, D'Haeseleer E, Van Lierde K
Title: Massed Versus Spaced Practice in Vocology: Effect of a Short-Term Intensive Voice Therapy Versus a Long-Term Traditional Voice Therapy
Source: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 2019 62(3): 611-630
Year: 2019
Research Design: Non Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: N/A
To be rated

Purpose: The aim of this study was to compare the effect of a short-term intensive voice therapy (IVT) with a longterm traditional voice therapy (TVT) on the vocal quality, vocal capacities, psychosocial impact, vocal tract discomfort, laryngological anatomy/physiology, and session attendance of patients with dysphonia. An additional comparison was made between an individual IVT (IVT-I) and a group IVT (IVT-G). Method: A longitudinal, prospective controlled trial was used. Forty-six adults diagnosed with dysphonia were assigned to 1 of the 3 treatment groups. The IVT groups practiced with a frequency of 1 hr 20 min a day and a duration of 2 weeks. The TVT group practiced with a frequency of two 30-min sessions a week and a duration of 6 months. Both therapy programs were content-identical and guided by the same voice therapist. A multidimensional voice assessment consisting of both objective (maximum performance task, aerodynamic measurements, voice range profile, acoustic analysis, multiparametric voice quality indices) and subjective (subject's self-report, auditoryperceptual evaluation, flexible videolaryngostroboscopy) outcomes was used to evaluate the participants' voice. Results: IVT made an equal progress in only 2 weeks and 12 hr of therapy compared with TVT that needed 6 months and 24 hr of therapy. IVT-I and IVT-G showed comparable results. Session attendance was clearly higher in IVT compared with TVT. Long-term follow-up results (1 year) were positive for the 3 groups, except for the self-reported psychosocial impact that increased in the IVT-I group. Conclusions: Short-term IVT is at least equally effective in treating patients with dysphonia as long-term TVT. Group treatment seemed as effective as individual treatment. Attendance and cost-effectiveness are important advantages of IVT. A potential drawback might be an insufficient psychosocial progress. The golden mean between intensive and traditional treatment might therefore be an achievable, effective, and efficient solution for everyday clinical practice.

Access: Paywall