Evaluation of Postural Changes Using Dynamic Posturography after Speech Rehabilitation in Patients with Voice Disorders: A Longitudinal Study

Maria Caçador, Ana Papoila, Carlos Brás-Geraldes, Carlos Stapleton Garcia, Tânia Constantino, Mafalda Almeida, João Paço

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The association between voice and body posture is consensual across the scientific literature and seems to be established both ways. Any changes in normal posture can influence the mechanisms of vocal production; on the other hand, vocal rehabilitation can influence posture. Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the postural pattern in subjects with organic voice disorders before and after speech rehabilitation, using computerised dynamic posturography (CDP). Methods: In this prospective cohort study, 21 patients affected by dysphonia caused by benign vocal fold lesions, never treated with speech therapy/vocal training, were submitted to a posturographic analysis using CDP before and after vocal rehabilitation/therapy. Each patient underwent an accurate voice and ear, nose, and throat (ENT) anamnesis, a general ENT examination, a rigid and flexible laryngoscopy, a videolaryngostroboscopy, an acoustic voice analysis including aerodynamic evaluation, and a perceptual evaluation of voice using the Grade, Roughness, Breathiness, Asthenia, and Strain (GRBAS) scale and the Voice Handicap Index (VHI) questionnaire, before and after vocal therapy. Fifteen healthy age- and sex-matched volunteers were also submitted to a posturographic analysis on the day of recruitment and 4 weeks later. Results: All patients showed an improvement in voice quality after vocal training. The VHI decreased in all subjects, and the GRBAS scale showed a decrease in all parameters in each vowel (/a/, /i/, /e/) and in spontaneous speech (p < 0.001 for all). Posturographic results showed an improvement in equilibrium score, in conditions 2-6 and composite score. Strategic analysis results showed an improvement in conditions 1-6. Conclusions: The posturographic analysis showed a significant difference in the visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive component of posture after voice therapy. These results showed that dysphonic patients changed their postural patterns after an effective voice treatment, with an improvement in postural performance. It seems like modifications of breathing pattern and voice production techniques led to objective and measurable postural changes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFolia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Keywords

  • Benign vocal fold lesions
  • Posture
  • Posturography
  • Speech rehabilitation
  • Voice disorders

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