Individualized patient vocal priorities for tailored therapy

Ingo R. Titze, Tobias Riede, Anil Palaparthi, Linda S. Hynan, Amy Hamilton, Laura Toles, I-Fan T Mau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purposes of this study are to introduce the concept of vocal priorities based on acoustic correlates, to develop an instrument to determine these vocal priorities, and to analyze the pattern of vocal priorities in patients with voice disorders. Method: Questions probing the importance of 5 vocal attributes (vocal clarity, loudness, mean speaking pitch, pitch range, vocal endurance) were generated from consensus conference involving speech-language pathologists, laryngologists, and voice scientists, as well as patient feedback. The responses to the preliminary items from 213 subjects were subjected to exploratory factor analysis, which confirmed 4 of the predefined domains. The final instrument consisted of a 16-item Vocal Priority Questionnaire probing the relative importance of clarity, loudness, mean speaking pitch, and pitch range. Results: The Vocal Priority Questionnaire had high reliability (Cronbach’s α = .824) and good construct validity. A majority of the cohort (61%) ranked vocal clarity as their highest vocal priority, and 20%, 12%, and 7% ranked loudness, mean speaking pitch, and pitch range, respectively, as their highest priority. The frequencies of the highest ranked priorities did not differ by voice diagnosis or by sex. Considerable individual variation in vocal priorities existed within these large trends. Conclusions: A patient’s vocal priorities can be identified and taken into consideration in planning behavioral or surgical intervention for a voice disorder. Inclusion of vocal priorities in treatment planning empowers the patient in shared decision making, helps the clinician tailor treatment, and may also improve therapy compliance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2884-2894
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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