Factors associated with voice therapy outcomes in the treatment of presbyphonia

Ted Mau, Barbara H. Jacobson, C. Gaelyn Garrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis: Age, vocal fold atrophy, glottic closure pattern, and the burden of medical problems are associated with voice therapy outcomes for presbyphonia. Study Design: Retrospective. Methods: Records of patients seen over a 3-year period at a voice center were screened. Inclusion criteria consisted of age over 55 years, primary complaint of hoarseness, presence of vocal fold atrophy on examination, and absence of laryngeal or neurological pathology. Videostroboscopic examinations on initial presentation were reviewed. Voice therapy outcomes were assessed with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association National Outcomes Measurement System scale. Statistical analysis was performed with Spearman rank correlation and χ2 tests. Results: Sixty-seven patients were included in the study. Of the patients, 85% demonstrated improvement with voice therapy. The most common type of glottic closure consisted of a slit gap. Gender or age had no effect on voice therapy outcomes. Larger glottic gaps on initial stroboscopy examination and more pronounced vocal fold atrophy were weakly correlated with less improvement from voice therapy. A weak correlation was also found between the number of chronic medical conditions and poorer outcomes from voice therapy. Conclusions: The degree of clinician-determined improvement in vocal function from voice therapy is independent of patient age but is influenced by the degree of vocal fold atrophy, glottic closure pattern, and the patient's burden of medical problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1181-1187
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009


  • Aging voice
  • Bowing
  • Presbyphonia
  • Vocal fold atrophy
  • Voice therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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