Purpose: The present study was designed to assess the efficacy of a six-session physiologic voice therapy program with the semioccluded ventilation mask (SOVM) in a group of subjects with voice complaints (vocal effort and fatigue). Methods: Thirty-four participants with functional dysphonia were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups: (1) voice treatment with physiologic voice therapy plus vocal hygiene program (n = 17), and (2) vocal hygiene program only (n = 17). Laryngoscopic assessment was performed in all subjects to confirm laryngeal diagnosis. Before and after voice therapy, participants underwent aerodynamic assessment. The Voice Handicap Index (VHI), Vocal Tract Discomfort Scale (VTDS), and self-assessment of resonant voice were also performed. The treatment included six voice therapy sessions. For the experimental group, the exercises consisted of a sequence of seven phonatory tasks performed with the SOVM. Comparison for all variables was performed between experimental group and control group. Results: Statistical analysis showed significant improvements for experimental group for VHI (decrease), VTDS (decrease), and self-perception of resonant voice quality (increase). Significant decrease for experimental group was observed in subglottic pressure and phonation threshold pressure. Conclusion: Physiologic voice therapy based on the SOVM with connected speech exercises seems to be an effective tool to improve voice in subjects diagnosed with voice complaints. Apparently, improvements are reflected in both subjective and objective outcomes. A reduction in phonatory effort and perceptual aspects of vocal fatigue are the main subjective improvements. A decrease in air pressure-related variables seems to be the most important objective change after voice therapy.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This research was supported by grants from CONICYT (grant FONDECYT 11180291 ).
- Semioccluded ventilation mask
- Semioccluded vocal tract exercises
- Vocal effort
- Vocal fatigue
- Voice therapy