Effects of Voice Therapy on Relative Fundamental Frequency During Voicing Offset and Onset in Patients With Vocal Hyperfunction PurposeThe purpose of this study was to determine whether the relative fundamental frequency (RFF) surrounding a voiceless consonant in patients with hyperfunctionally related voice disorders would normalize after a successful course of voice therapy.MethodPre- and posttherapy measurements of RFF were compared in 16 subjects undergoing voice therapy for voice disorders ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2011
Effects of Voice Therapy on Relative Fundamental Frequency During Voicing Offset and Onset in Patients With Vocal Hyperfunction
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Gabrielle R. Merchant
    Harvard–MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Cambridge, MA
  • James T. Heaton
    Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Laryngeal Surgery and Voice Rehabilitation, Boston
  • Robert E. Hillman
    Harvard–MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Cambridge, MA
  • Correspondence to Cara E. Stepp, who is now at Boston University: cstepp@bu.edu
  • Editor: Robert Schlauch
    Editor: Robert Schlauch×
  • Associate Editor: Nathan Welham
    Associate Editor: Nathan Welham×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech
Article   |   October 01, 2011
Effects of Voice Therapy on Relative Fundamental Frequency During Voicing Offset and Onset in Patients With Vocal Hyperfunction
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2011, Vol. 54, 1260-1266. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0274)
History: Received October 3, 2010 , Revised January 8, 2011 , Accepted January 21, 2011
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2011, Vol. 54, 1260-1266. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2011/10-0274)
History: Received October 3, 2010; Revised January 8, 2011; Accepted January 21, 2011
Web of Science® Times Cited: 18

PurposeThe purpose of this study was to determine whether the relative fundamental frequency (RFF) surrounding a voiceless consonant in patients with hyperfunctionally related voice disorders would normalize after a successful course of voice therapy.

MethodPre- and posttherapy measurements of RFF were compared in 16 subjects undergoing voice therapy for voice disorders associated with vocal hyperfunction.

ResultsA 2-way analysis of variance showed a statistically significant effect of both cycle of vibration near the consonant and therapy phase (pre- vs. post-), with p < .001. A post hoc paired Student’s t test showed that posttherapy RFF measurements were significantly higher (more typical; p < .0001) than pretherapy measurements.

ConclusionsPrior to therapy, participants exhibited lowered RFF values, similar to those found previously (Stepp, Hillman, & Heaton, 2010). After successful completion of voice therapy, RFF values increased toward patterns seen previously in individuals with healthy typical voice. The goal of voice therapy in these patients was to reduce laryngeal muscle tension; therefore, the increase of RFF toward more typical values may be indicative of decreased baseline laryngeal muscle tension resulting from therapy. Results are discussed further in terms of necessary research to incorporate RFF as a clinical measure of vocal hyperfunction.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported through funding from National Institutes of Health Training Grant 5T32DC000038-17. We thank Tara Stadelman-Cohen, Anatoly Goldstein, and Jennifer Bourque for their assistance with study methodology.
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