Preliminary data on two voice therapy interventions in the treatment of presbyphonia

Aaron Ziegler, Katherine Verdolini Abbott, Michael Johns, Adam Klein, Edie R Hapner
Laryngoscope 2014, 124 (8): 1869-76

OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: Presbyphonia is common among elderly individuals, yet few studies have evaluated behavioral treatment approaches for presbyphonia. The primary aim of this study was to assess the short-term efficacy of two types of voice therapy-vocal function exercises (VFE) and phonation resistance training exercise (PhoRTE) therapy-in the treatment of presbyphonia. The secondary aim was to determine if differences in adherence and treatment satisfaction existed between the two therapy approaches.

STUDY DESIGN: Prospective, randomized, controlled.

METHODS: Preliminary data from 16 elderly participants with presbyphonia randomly assigned to VFE, PhoRTE, or a no-treatment control group (CTL) were analyzed. Before and after a 4-week intervention period, participants completed the Voice-Related Quality of Life (V-RQOL) questionnaire and a perceived phonatory effort (PPE) task. Additionally, participants receiving treatment completed weekly practice logs and a posttreatment satisfaction questionnaire.

RESULTS: Preliminary data revealed VFE and PhoRTE groups demonstrated a significant improvement in V-RQOL scores. However, only PhoRTE demonstrated a significant reduction in PPE, as suggested by the study's causal model. The CTL group did not demonstrate significant changes. Numerically, VFE registered slightly greater adherence to home practice recommendations than did PhoRTE, but PhoRTE perceived greater treatment satisfaction than VFE.

CONCLUSIONS: Findings provide new evidence regarding the efficacy of voice therapy exercises in the treatment of age-related dysphonia and suggest PhoRTE therapy as another treatment method for improved voice-related quality of life and reduced perceived vocal effort in this population.

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