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Pediatric Voice Therapy Clinical Trial

The Pediatric Airway, Voice and Swallowing Center at Mass. Eye and Ear currently conducts a study supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that investigates the benefits of voice therapy in managing vocal nodules in children ages 6 through 10 years old.

The prevalence of voice disorders in the pediatric population has been estimated as high as 36%. Children suffering from voice disorders are at risk for developmental and behavioral problems, including slower development of communication skills, limited participation in classroom discussion, limited social interaction with peers and interference of appropriate cognitive and psychosocial development.  Vocal fold nodules are reportedly the most common voice disorder in school-aged children, and the most commonly recommended treatment for nodules by otolaryngologists is voice therapy.

Currently, there is little standardization of treatment in voice therapy for the pediatric population. Patients enrolled in voice therapy usually have regular absences from school, causing them to take on an increased homework load for 1-3 months. There is also an added strain on the child’s family with increased travel time and cost. The benefits of voice therapy in school-aged children have never been closely weighed against these factors.

The goal of our study is to answer the question: Does voice therapy really improve the quality of life for children with hoarseness from vocal nodules? We hope our study will lead to an evidence-based treatment that has been rigorously tested to improve the lives of this sizable population of children.

Children with hoarseness whose parents would like them to participate in this study will undergo an evaluation by specialists to establish the necessary diagnosis of vocal nodules at no cost to the family or insurance company.  If a child meets the study criteria, the child and his or her parents will be invited to join the study. If the family decides to participate, they will receive up to 12 weeks of one of two common therapy approaches. All participating children will receive therapy to treat his or her hoarseness through one of these two approaches at no cost to the family or their insurance.

For more information, please download our brochure.