Vocal Function Exercises for Muscle Tension Dysphonia: Auditory-Perceptual Evaluation and Self-Assessment Rating

J Voice. 2017 Jul;31(4):506.e25-506.e31. doi: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2016.10.009. Epub 2016 Dec 16.


Objective: Muscle tension dysphonia (MTD) is a functional dysphonia, which appears with an excessive tension in the intrinsic and extrinsic laryngeal musculatures. MTD can affect voice quality and quality of life. The purpose of the present study was to assess the effectiveness of vocal function exercises (VFEs) on perceptual and self-assessment ratings in a group of 15 subjects with MTD.

Methods: The study comprised 15 subjects with MTD (8 men and 7 women, mean age 39.8 years, standard deviation 10.6, age range 24-62 years). All participants were native Persian speakers who underwent a 6-week course of VFEs. The Voice Handicap Index (VHI) (the self-assessment scale) and Grade, Roughness, Breathiness, Asthenia, Strain (GRBAS) scale (perceptual rating of voice quality) were used to compare pre- and post-VFEs.

Results: GRBAS data of patients before and after VFEs were compared using Wilcoxon signed-rank test, and VHI data of patients pre- and post-VFEs were compared using Student paired t test. These perceptual parameters showed a statistically significant improvement in subjects with MTD after voice therapy (significant at P < 0.05 (*) and P < 0.004 (**)). Also results indicated statistically noticeable reduction in the mean VHI scores across subjects with MTD (significant at P < 0.05 (*) and P < 0.004 (**)).

Conclusions: Significant improvement after therapy for participants has been observed by the aid of auditory-perceptual ratings of voice quality (with the GRBAS scale) and the patient's self-assessment ratings measurements (with the VHI). As a result, the data provide evidence regarding the efficacy of VFEs in the treatment of patients with MTD.

Keywords: GRBAS; Muscle tension dysphonia; Perceptual evaluation; VHI; Vocal function exercises.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Auditory Perception
  • Dysphonia / therapy*
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Self-Assessment
  • Voice Quality
  • Voice Training*
  • Young Adult