Voice Improvement after Voice Therapy in Female Patients with Unilateral Vocal Fold Paralysis after Thyroid Surgery
Introduction: Dysphonic voice is present in patients with unilateral vocal fold paralysis (UVFP). The aim of this study was to present outcomes following rehabilitation of patients with UVFP, performed according to a voice therapy protocol.
Methods: This prospective study comprised 27 women with UVFP who underwent pre- and post-voice therapy assessment. The mean age of patients was 53.19 ± 10.06 years. The protocol included the following: (1) multidimensional assessment of voice quality before treatment; (2) digital laryngeal manipulation voice therapy; (3) voice therapy evaluation which implied repeated multidimensional assessment of voice.
Results: The results showed improvement in voice quality following voice therapy with regard to the parameters of the objective voice analysis (maximum fundamental frequency of voice, minimum intensity of voice, jitter, shimmer, harmonics-to-noise ratio, and signal-to-noise ratio, p ˂ 0.05), maximum phonation time, subjective analysis of voice, as well as self-assessment of voice quality on all the subscales and overall score (p ˂ 0.001).
Conclusion: Implementing a protocol provides clear guidelines at each stage of the treatment. Voice therapy performed using digital laryngeal manipulation improves the majority of the acoustic and perceptual characteristics of the voice.
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