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Background: Previous studies have documented the effectiveness of voice therapy in terms of voice quality outcomes rather than quality of life outcomes.
Objective: To compare the quality of life among patients with voice disorders, before and after voice therapy.
Methods: Thirty-six patients with voice disorders who visited the Speech Clinic at Ramathibodi Hospital from March 2013 to January 2015 were enrolled. Thirty minutes per session within 10 weeks period of voice therapy program were used. The voice therapy approaches included direct and indirect therapy. The outcomes of this study were measured using Dr. Speech software version 5 for acoustic analysis and the Voice Handicap Index in Thai version for quality of life. Data was analyzed by descriptive and inferential statistics (Paired t test).
Results: The total participants were 36 patients with a mean age of 51.31 years. They were divided to 4 groups according to the causes of voice disorders that were 18 patients for structural cause, 8 patients for functional cause, 6 patients for neurological cause, and 4 patients for inflammatory cause. The results for both voice quality and quality of life after voice therapy improved and showed statistically significant differences (P < .05). The patients with all causes of voice disorders were statistically significant differences in total the Voice Handicap Index scores (P < .05). Moreover the structural causes group exhibited statistically significant differences in all subscales (P < .05) but the others causes groups were not statistically significant differences in emotional subscale for functional causes, physical subscale for neurological causes, and functional subscale for inflammatory cause (P > .05)
Conclusions: Voice therapy might be an effective treatment to decrease the severity of voice disorders in role of voice quality and quality of life, especially voice disorders from structural causes.
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