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Acta Otorhinolaryngol Ital. 2012 Oct;32(5):304-8.

Vocal improvement after voice therapy in the treatment of benign vocal fold lesions.

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Department of Clinical Sciences L. Sacco, University of Milan, Italy.


in English, Italian

Benign vocal fold lesions are common in the general population, and have important public health implications and impact on patient quality of life. Nowadays, phonomicrosurgery is the most common treatment of these lesions. Voice therapy is generally associated in order to minimize detrimental vocal behaviours that increase the stress at the mid-membranous vocal folds. Nonetheless, the most appropriate standard of care for treating benign vocal fold lesion has not been established. The aim of this study was to analyze voice changes in a group of dysphonic patients affected by benign vocal fold lesions, evaluated with a multidimensional protocol before and after voice therapy. Sixteen consecutive patients, 12 females and 4 males, with a mean age of 49.7 years were enrolled. Each subject had 10 voice therapy sessions with an experienced speech/language pathologist for a period of 1-2 months, and was evaluated before and at the end of voice therapy with a multidimensional protocol that included self-assessment measures and videostroboscopic, perceptual, aerodynamic and acoustic ratings. Videostroboscopic examination did not reveal resolution of the initial pathology in any case. No improvement was observed in aerodynamic and perceptual ratings. A clear and significant improvement was visible on Wilcoxon signed-rank test for the mean values of Jitt%, Noise to Harmonic Ratio (NHR) and Voice Handicap Index (VHI) scores. Even if it is possible that, for benign vocal fold lesions, only a minor improvement of voice quality can be achieved after voice therapy, rehabilitation treatment still seems useful as demonstrated by improvement in self-assessment measures. If voice therapy is provided as an initial treatment to the patients with benign vocal fold lesions, this may lead to an improvement in the perceived voice quality, making surgical intervention unnecessary. This is one of the first reports on the efficacy of voice therapy in the management of benign vocal fold lesions; further studies are needed to confirm these preliminary data.


Benign vocal fold lesion; Cyst; Polyp; Voice therapy

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