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Substitution Voice Rehabilitation After Open Partial Horizontal Laryngectomy Through the Proprioceptive Elastic Method (PROEL): A Preliminary Study

      Summary

      Objective

      The aim was to investigate the efficacy of the Proprioceptive Elastic Method (PROEL) in the rehabilitation of the substitution voice after open partial horizontal laryngectomy (OPHL).

      Study design

      Prospective outcome study.

      Methods

      Fifteen patients surgically treated by OPHL type II or type III for laryngeal cancer were recruited (experimental group). Each patient underwent a specific program of voice rehabilitation based on the PROEL method with the same speech and language pathologist. Acoustic-aerodynamic analysis: maximum phonation time (MPT); spectrographic classification (Titze's modified classification), perceptual analysis (INFVo rating scale) and self-assessments (SECEL questionnaire) were performed before the treatment (T0), after 3 months of rehabilitation (T1), and at the end of the 6-month rehabilitation program (T2). A control sample of other 15 patients who underwent OPHL type II or type III and who underwent a standard perioperative rehabilitation was randomly extracted from an historical database and compared to the experimental group.

      Results

      Significative voice improvements between T0-T1 and T2 were found for acoustic, aerodynamic, perceptual, and self-assessments analysis in the experimental group. Significative differences were found between the experimental group at T2 and the control sample for aerodynamic, self-assessment, and perceptual analysis.

      Conclusions

      The results of the present study support PROEL method as an effective approach for substitution voice rehabilitation after OPHL type II and III. Randomized controlled trials on larger groups of patients are needed in future in order to compare PROEL with other rehabilitative approaches.

      Key Words

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