Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Telemedicine versus traditional treatment for muscle tension dysphonia
by Rangarathnam, Balaji, Ph.D., University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 2013, 98; 3610359
Abstract (Summary)

Introduction: The American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) promotes principles that ensure service to populations in need, breaking accessibility barriers. One such effort has been the advocacy of telepractice. Research concerning voice therapy delivered through telemedicine is sparse in the literature. The current investigation was conceived with two primary aims: 1) determine the utility of telemedicine for administering a specific type of voice therapy for patients suffering from muscle tension dysphonia, and 2) define the specific effects of the therapy, flow phonation exercises, on respiratory and phonatory balance, as well as vocal quality and handicap. Methods: Fourteen participants aged 16 and above with a diagnosis of Muscle Tension Dysphonia were randomly assigned to two groups - telemedicine and onsite treatment and underwent 12 sessions of flow phonation therapy over a period of 6 weeks. The treatment consisted of vocal hygiene education, flow phonation exercises consisting of cup bubble blowing, gargling and stretch and flow exercises along with confidential voicing. Results: Results are indicative of no significant difference in the outcomes of treatment delivered onsite and through telemedicine. Also, the flow phonation exercises were efficacious in improving vocal quality and reducing self perceived handicap due to the voice disorder along with a rebalance of phonatory airflow and laryngeal resistance after therapy. Conclusions: Flow phonation exercises can be employed in patients with MTD with an expectation of successful outcomes in voice quality and perception of handicap and physiological rebalance of laryngeal resistance and phonatory airflow. Additionally, our results suggest telemedicine is a viable option in delivering this type of treatment to individuals who lack proper voice care close to home.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: McCullough, Gary H.
Commitee: Bayles, Kathryn, McCullough, Kimberly, Tulunay-Ugur, Ozlem E., Zraick, Richard I.
School: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Department: Communication Sciences and Disorders
School Location: United States -- Arkansas
Source: DAI-B 75/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Speech therapy
Keywords: Flow phonation, Laryngeal resistance, Muscle tension dysphonia, Telemedicine
Publication Number: 3610359
ISBN: 978-1-303-70091-0
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