Group Voice Therapy Reduces Anxiety in Patients With Dysphonia

Flávia Maiele Pedroza Trajano, Larissa Nadjara Alves Almeida, Sauana Alves Leite de Alencar, João Euclides Fernandes Braga, Anna Alice Almeida
Journal of Voice 2019 April 9

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of group therapy in patients with dysphonia, as well as to verify the correlation between vocal symptoms and levels of anxiety.

METHODS: The study was composed of 52 patients subdivided into two groups, named the Experimental Group (EG) with 28 volunteers and the Control Group (CG) with 24 volunteers. Anxiety and voice protocols were used for data collection. The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) was used to measure trait levels of anxiety that after collection were categorized according to the variation in scores value: low anxiety (20-40 points); average anxiety (40-60 points); high anxiety (60-80 points). In addition, the Voice Symptom Scale (VoiSS) was used for voice assessment. Inferential statistical analysis from the Student's t test for paired and independent data, in order to compare the average scores of STAI trait levels and VoiSS domains of the pre- and postmoments, intra- and intergroups, EG and CG, respectively. For that purpose, the program Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used.

RESULTS: Half of the patients in the survey presented an average trait level of anxiety. Regarding the EG, there was a significant reduction of state anxiety when comparing the moments before and after group therapy. There was also a significant reduction in the values of the VoiSS-Total and VoiSS-Physical domains when compared to the pre- and postgroup therapy moments. It was verified the existence of a positive correlation between the levels of anxiety after group therapy and VoiSS-Total, VoiSS-Limitation, and VoiSS-Physical domains. As for the CG, there was an increase in anxiety levels as well as in all domains of the VoiSS scale when compared to the pre- and postmoments.

CONCLUSIONS: Group voice therapy was effective for a significant reduction of vocal symptoms and anxiety - common conditions in patients with dysphonia. It was possible to perceive the positive correlation between anxiety levels and vocal symptoms.

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