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J Commun Disord. 2005 Sep-Oct;38(5):395-419.

The consequences of spasmodic dysphonia on communication-related quality of life: a qualitative study of the insider's experiences.

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Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Washington, 1417 NE 42nd St., Seattle, WA 98105, USA.


The purpose of this study was to explore the biopsychosocial consequences of spasmodic dysphonia (SD) as experienced by people with SD. Qualitative research methods were used to investigate the insider's perspective of living with SD. Six adults with SD participated in face-to-face phenomenological interviews. The results are summarized in a model of personal experiences of SD which shows that communication-related quality of life (QOL) is shaped by experiences with multiple physiologic (voice quality, effort, voice dependability); personal (affective responses, changes in self-view, coping strategies) and social (physical environment, other people, participation in social roles) factors. Communication-related QOL is a complex and individualized construct with multidimensional contributors. This study suggests that understanding the nature of communication-related QOL for each individual requires exploration of each component of the model, exploration of the unique relationships among components for each person, and recognition of the multidimensional factors that shape the experience of SD.


As a result of this activity the reader will be able to (1) identify general features of the phenomenological research method; (2) identify the three general categories of psychosocial consequences of SD; (3) identify those psychosocial consequences of SD that are under-represented in the literature; and (4) identify key conclusions of the communication-related quality of life model.

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