Vocal Improvement After Voice Therapy in Unilateral Vocal Fold Paralysis

Antonio Schindler, Alessandro Bottero, Pasquale Capaccio, Daniela Ginocchio, Fulvio Adorni, Francesco Ottaviani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Summary: Unilateral vocal fold paralysis (UVFP) is associated with changes in acoustic and aerodynamic voice measurements and can have a significant impact on a patient's quality of life. Few objective data regarding the efficacy of voice therapy for UVFP exist. The aim of this study was to retrospectively analyze voice modifications in a group of patients with UVFP before and after voice therapy. Forty patients with UVFP of different etiology were included in the study. Each subject had voice therapy with an experienced speech/language pathologist twice a week; the mean number of sessions was 12.6. A multidimensional assessment protocol was used; it included videoendoscopy, the maximum phonation time (MPT), the GIRBAS scale, spectrograms and a perturbation analysis, and the Voice Handicap Index (VHI). Pre- and posttreatment data were compared by means of the Wilcoxon and Student's t tests. A complete glottal closure was seen in 8 patients before voice therapy and in 14 afterward. Mean MPT increased significantly. In the perceptual assessment, the difference was significant for five out of six parameters. A significant improvement was found on spectrographic analysis; as for perturbation analysis, the differences in jitter, shimmer, and noise-to-harmonic ratio values were significant. VHI values showed a clear and significant improvement. A significant improvement of voice quality and quality of life after voice therapy is an often reached and reasonable goal in patients with UVFP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-118
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Voice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008


  • Dysphonia
  • Objective measures
  • Unilateral vocal fold paralysis
  • Voice therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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