Voice Therapy in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Guidelines for Clinical Practice

J Voice. 2020 Aug 7;S0892-1997(20)30287-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2020.08.001. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Introduction: Since the beginning of the new pandemic, COVID-19 health services have had to face a new scenario. Voice therapy faces a double challenge, interventions using telepractice, and delivering rehabilitation services to a growing population of patients at risk of functional impairment related to the COVID-19 disease. Moreover, as COVID-19 is transmitted through droplets, it is critical to understand how to mitigate these risks during assessment and treatment.

Objective: To promote safety, and effective clinical practice to voice assessment and rehabilitation in the pandemic COVID-19 context for speech-language pathologists.

Methods: A group of 11 experts in voice and swallowing disorders from five different countries conducted a consensus recommendation following the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery rules building a clinical guide for speech-language pathologists during this pandemic context.

Results: The clinical guide provides 65 recommendations for clinicians in the management of voice disorders during the pandemic and includes advice from assessment, direct treatment, telepractice, and teamwork. The consensus was reached 95% for all topics.

Conclusion: This guideline should be taken only as recommendation; each clinician must attempt to mitigate the risk of infection and achieve the best therapeutic results taking into account the patient's particular reality.

Keywords: COVID-19; Phoniatrics; Speech-language pathology; Telepractice; Voice disorders; Voice therapy.

Publication types

  • Review