Research Article|Articles in Press

Assessing Candidacy for Conversation Training Therapy: The Role of Patient Perception



      Voice therapy is the primary treatment modality for voice rehabilitation. Specific patient-ability factors beyond patient-characteristic factors (eg, disorder diagnosis, age, etc.), that influence individual patient responses to voice treatment remain largely unknown. The goal of the current study was to determine the relationship between patient-perceived improvements in both the sound and feel of voice during stimulability assessment and voice therapy outcomes.

      Study Design

      Prospective Cohort study.


      This study was a single-arm, single-center, prospective study. Fifty patients with primary muscle tension dysphonia and benign vocal fold lesions were enrolled. Patients read the first four sentences of the Rainbow Passage and were asked if they experienced a change in the feel or sound of their voice following the stimulability prompt. Patients then completed four sessions of conversation training therapy (CTT) voice therapy and followed up one-week and three-months after their last therapy session, for a total of six time-points. Demographic data were collected at baseline, and voice handicap index 10 (VHI-10) scores were collected at each follow-up time-point. The primary exposure variables were CTT intervention and patient perception of voice change to stimulability probes. The primary outcome was change in VHI-10 score.


      On average, VHI-10 scores improved for all participants following CTT treatment. All participants heard a change in the sound of voice with stimulability prompts. Descriptively, patients who reported a positive change in the feel of their voice after stimulability testing recovered faster (ie, experienced a sharper decline in VHI-10) compared to those who did not note a change in feel of voice during stimulability testing. However, the rate of change over time was not significantly different between groups.


      Patient self-perception of a change in the sound and feel of voice in response to stimulability probes during initial evaluation is an important factor in treatment outcomes. Patients who perceive an improved feel of their voice production after stimulability probes may respond to voice therapy more quickly.

      Key Words

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