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Massachusetts Eye and Ear

Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery Outcomes

Voice and Speech

The Voice and Speech Laboratory treated 449 patients with a variety of voice disorders from 2020 through early 2022. All patients were treated with voice therapy, which focuses on behavioral intervention and specific voice techniques to help control or alleviate voice complaints.

Learn more about voice and speech care

Measuring success with the Voice Handicap Index

When undergoing treatment for a voice disorder, patients typically attend four-to-10 voice therapy sessions lasting anywhere between 30-to-60 minutes, occurring once every one-to-two weeks (or as needed).

The Voice Handicap Index (VHI-10) is a measure of a patient’s vocal handicap perception. The index was administered to all patients at their initial evaluation and again, post-therapy, as a means of objectively assessing changes in the severity of their voice symptoms.

Scores for the VHI-10 range from zero-to-40, with higher scores indicating a greater voice-related handicap. A score greater than 11 is considered abnormal, and scores ranging from zero-to-10 are considered normal, or nearly normal.

VHI-10 scores from January 2020 to May 2022

  • Mean pre-therapy VHI-10 score: 16.1
  • Mean post-therapy VHI-10 score: 8.6
  • Mean change of score: 7.5

VHI-10 averages (initial evaluation versus post-therapy)

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