Purpose: The present study was designed to assess the immediate effects of the semi-occluded ventilation mask (SOVM) in subjects with functional dysphonia and subjects with normal voice.
Methods: Sixty-four participants were included in this study (48 women and 16 men). Thirty-one of them were diagnosed with functional dysphonia and 33 with normal voice. All subjects were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: an experimental condition using the SOVM (n = 33) and a control condition with participants not using the SOVM (n = 31). Thus, within both conditions, participants could be either dysphonic or normal-voiced. This produced a total of four different groups: (1) subjects with normal voice with SOVM (n = 17), (2) subjects with normal voice without SOVM (n = 16), (3) dysphonic subjects with SOVM (n = 16), and (4) dysphonic subjects without SOVM (n = 15). All participants underwent aerodynamic, electroglottographic (EGG), and acoustic assessments, and were also asked to assess their own voice, before and after voice exercises.
Results: Significant differences were found for aerodynamic, EGG, and acoustic variables when comparing SOVM conditions (dysphonic and normal) against control. Cepstral peak prominence and EGG contact quotient showed an increase among dysphonic participants with SOVM. L1-L0 showed an increase for all participants in SOVM condition (dysphonic and normal). Self-perceived resonant voice quality showed an increase for both groups in SOVM condition. Glottal airflow showed a decrease for the dysphonic participants in SOVM condition. Phonation threshold pressure and subglottic pressure showed a decrease for both groups in SOVM condition.
Conclusion: The present study suggests that immediate positive effect could be produced by connected speech phonatory tasks using the SOVM in both dysphonic subjects and subjects with normal voice, the change being greater among the former. SOVM seems to promote an easy voice production and a more efficient phonation.
Keywords: Resonant voice; Semi-occluded vocal tract; Tube phonation; Voice therapy; Voice training.
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