Effectiveness of Voice Therapy Collection

Martin Vivero, BS, MS, SLP
Umit Dasdogen, BA, PostDip, MS, SLP
Katherine Verdolini Abbott, PhD, CCC-SLP

Communication Sciences and Disorders
University of Delaware

In the late 20th century, investigations into basic voice sciences surged. The concept of “Vocology” – the study of vocalization, formally introduced in 1990 (Titze, 1990) -- promoted the intersection of voice in its multi-faceted dimensions, encouraging a broad and integrated vision of this human and animal function. Since that time, voice care and management have arisen as specific domains in the Journal of Voice and otherwise. Initially, studies were few, and were mostly pre-experimental with small sample sizes, studies that served as a foundation for later, more complex studies. Subsequently, reports generally focused on specific therapy techniques clustered into particular “methods.” In parallel, single voice therapy techniques were also assessed.

As studies on voice therapy grew in number and quality, rapid and substantial advances in technology led to more sophisticated and diverse instrumentation, allowing for further understanding of voice physiology and biomechanics. Additionally, the relationship among voice and other functions such as emotions, personality, and identity, have attracted the interest of numerous researchers over the past years, adding more layers and complexity into the endeavor of clinical voice research.

This current Journal of Voice Collection represents an attempt to gather voice therapy studies and trials categorized according to research design, although it is important to acknowledge this is not a peer-reviewed classification. Studies were grouped under four categories including (1) Systematic reviews and meta-analysis studies, (2) Randomized controlled clinical studies, (3) Non-randomized controlled clinical studies (4) Pre-experimental and descriptive studies designs.

Pre-experimental and descriptive studies were more numerous in the early volumes of the Journal of Voice. Clinical studies, randomized or not, have provided some support for evidence based-practice.

Although we have made progress in our studies of voice therapy, overall, such investigation study still has substantial room for growth. All relevant actors are still strongly needed. There is ample space for new approaches to emerge, for more well-designed studies, with larger samples and various controls, all of which will lead us to a better understanding of voice therapy and its groundings in basic biomechanics, neurophysiology, psychological, social, and other domains of vocal wellness.

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