The Effect of Stretch-and-Flow Voice Therapy on Measures of Vocal Function and Handicap

Published:October 11, 2014DOI:



      To investigate the efficacy of stretch-and-flow voice therapy as a primary physiological treatment for patients with hyperfunctional voice disorders.

      Study Design

      Prospective case series.


      Participants with a diagnosis of primary muscle tension dysphonia or phonotraumatic lesions due to hyperfunctional vocal behaviors were included. Participants received stretch-and-flow voice therapy structured once weekly for 6 weeks. Outcome variables consisted of two physiologic measures (s/z ratio and maximum phonation time), an acoustic measure (cepstral peak prominence [CPP]), and a measure of vocal handicap (voice handicap index [VHI]). All measures were obtained at baseline before treatment and within 2 weeks posttreatment.


      The s/z ratio, maximum phonation time, sentence CPP, and VHI showed statistically significant (P < 0.05) improvement through therapy. Effect sizes reflecting the magnitude of change were large for s/z ratio and VHI (d = 1.25 and 1.96 respectively), and moderate for maximum phonation time and sentence CPP (d = 0.79 and 0.74, respectively).


      This study provides supporting evidence for preliminary efficacy of stretch-and-flow voice therapy in a small sample of patients. The treatment effect was large or moderate for multiple outcome measures. The data provide justification for larger, controlled clinical trials on the application of stretch-and-flow voice therapy in the treatment of hyperfunctional voice disorders.

      Key Words

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