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Voice outcome following electrical stimulation-supported voice therapy in cases of unilateral vocal fold paralysis

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Abstract

Introduction

The current lack of knowledge on the effects of transcutaneous electrical stimulation-supported voice therapy (TESVT) on voice production, coupled with increasing anecdotal reports of TESVT use with voice disorders, prompted this research.

Aim

The aim of this study was to compare the therapeutic value of conventional voice therapy (CVT) and TESVT on voice outcome in patients with unilateral vocal fold paralysis.

Patients and methods

The study was conducted on randomly selected 29 patients with unilateral vocal fold paralysis who were candidates for voice therapy attending to the Unit of Phoniatrics, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Alexandria. The patients were divided into two groups: group I, which included 14 patients who were assigned to CVT, and group II, which included 15 patients who were assigned to TESVT.

Each patient was subjected to the following procedures before and after therapy to document glottis closure and voice quality changes: auditory perceptual assessment using the GRBAS scale, the Voice Problem Self-assessment Scale, videostroboscopic examination, and acoustic and aerodynamic analysis of a sample of phonation in addition to electroglottography. TESVT was applied for all participants.

Results

Statistically significant changes have been obtained for all measurers. No significant statistical difference was found between CVT and TESVT in patients with vocal fold immobility except for frequency perturbation and some electroglottographic parameters.

Conclusion

Transcutaneous electrical stimulation-supported voice therapy is as effective as CVT in improving voice parameters in cases of unilateral vocal fold immobility. Further research is warranted with a larger number of patients to assess the efficacy of electrical stimulation-supported voice therapy in cases of vocal fold immobility and to determine selective criteria for this TESVT approach.

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Correspondence to Manal M. El-Banna.

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Ras, Y.A., Imam, M., El-Banna, M.M. et al. Voice outcome following electrical stimulation-supported voice therapy in cases of unilateral vocal fold paralysis. Egypt J Otolaryngol 32, 322–334 (2016). https://doi.org/10.4103/1012-5574.192543

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Keywords

  • electric stimulation
  • unilateral vocal fold paralysis
  • voice therapy