A basic protocol for functional assessment of voice pathology, especially for investigating the efficacy of (phonosurgical) treatments and evaluating new assessment techniques
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The proposal of this basic protocol is an attempt to reach better agreement and uniformity concerning the methodology for functional assessment of pathologic voices. The purpose is to allow relevant comparisons with the literature when presenting / publishing the results of voice treatment, e.g. a phonosurgical technique, or a new / improved instrument or procedure for investigating the pathological voice. Meta-analyses of the results of voice treatments are generally limited and may even be impossible owing to the major diversity in the ways functional outcomes are assessed. A multidimensional set of minimal basic measurements suitable for all “common” dysphonias is proposed. It includes five different approaches: perception (grade, roughness, breathiness), videostroboscopy (closure, regularity, mucosal wave and symmetry), acoustics (jitter, shimmer, Fo-range and softest intensity), aerodynamics (phonation quotient), and subjective rating by the patient. The protocol is elaborated on the basis of an exhaustive review of the literature, of the experience of the Committee members, and of plenary discussions within the European Laryngological Society. Instrumentation is kept to a minimum, but it is considered essential for professionals performing phonosurgery.
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