Randomized Controlled Trial of Voice on Children with Vocal Nodules

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Voice Disorders

The prevalence of voice disorders among kids has been estimated as high as 36%, meaning over 5 million school-aged children are at risk for developmental and behavioral problems. Some of these problems may include:

  • Slower development of communication skills
  • Restricted access and participation in classroom discussion and social interactions with peers
  • Interference of appropriate cognitive, and psychosocial development

Vocal Fold Nodules

Vocal fold nodules are reportedly the most common voice disorder in school-aged children. The most commonly recommended management for nodules by otolaryngologists is voice therapy.

To date, there is no set program or standard for voice therapy for the pediatric population. Participation in voice therapy may include:

  • Regular absence from the classroom and/or school,
  • Additions to daily homework loads for 1-3 months,
  • Added strain on the family with increased travel time and cost.

The benefits of voice therapy in school-aged children have never been closely weighed against these factors.

Our Study

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 best improve the lives of this sizable population of children.

Children with hoarse voices, 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 has vocal nodules and meets all other 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.

If you are interested in this study, please contact Vanessa De Guzman at vanessa_deguzman@meei.harvard.edu

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