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Introduction to Dysphonia

presented by Edie R. Hapner, PhD, CCC-SLP, ASHA Fellow

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Edie R. Hapner, is the Professor of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Co-Director of the UAB Voice Center, and Director of Speech and Hearing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is Author receiving royalties from Plural Publications. She is the co-developer of Phonation Resistance Training Exercises, PhoRTE Voice Therapy LLC. She receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-financial: Edie R. Hapner was Co-Chair, 2022 ASHA National Convention. She has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Video Runtime: 89 Minutes, Learning Assessments: 28 Minutes

This introduction to working with people who are dysphonic challenges the clinician to look at the evaluation and treatment of dysphonia from a physiological perspective. The course emphasizes the importance of working with the referring physician and the patients to make informed decisions about the goals of therapy and the prognosis for therapy success. This course empowers the speech language pathologist to participate as a decision-maker regarding who is a good candidate for therapy and when to make the decision that therapy is not working and other medical/surgical treatments may be in order.

Meet Your Instructor

Edie R. Hapner, PhD, CCC-SLP, ASHA Fellow

Edie R. Hapner is professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, codirector of the UAB Voice Center, and director of speech and hearing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Among her honors, Dr. Hapner was named the George W. Barber Jr., Foundation Endowed Professor in 2021, ASHA Fellow in 2019, Associate Fellow of the American…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Dysphonia: What Is It and Why Does It Happen?

Dysphonia is multifactorial in nature, but there are often expected origins for many problems resulting in dysphonia. Additionally, in 2000, a standard nomenclature for describing vocal pathology to improve clinician communication was adopted, and this nomenclature should hold universal acceptance. This chapter will review the causes of dysphonia, the common treatments of dysphonia, and the standard nomenclature that will be used throughout the MedBridge Voice Curriculum.

2. The Sounds of Dysphonia

There is often a disconnect between the severity of dysphonia and the underlying cause of the dysphonia; severe dysphonia may not be a result of a severe disorder at the level of the vocal folds. This chapter will encourage the patient to listen to many nuances in the voice to help determine stimulability, causation, and prognosis for the use of voice therapy in overall treatment of the dysphonia.

3. Synthesizing Information to Determine the Role of Voice Therapy

Voice clinicians often report receiving referrals to voice therapy without the necessary information to make informed decisions about the severity of a vocal fold pathology, the physician’s goals for voice therapy, or the physician’s plan B. All of this information is imperative to designing a successful program of voice therapy. This information must then be woven into the patient’s needs and goals of therapy to design an individualized voice therapy program to meet the needs of the patient and the goals of physician in the comprehensive treatment of dysphonia. This chapter empowers the clinician to communicate with the physician about the use of voice therapy in the overall treatment of dysphonia from infusion of physician diagnosis, laryngeal imaging, patient needs, and evaluation findings.

4. Voice Therapy: Avoiding the Cookbook Approach

Voice therapy is often driven by therapy technique rather than the underlying current status of the patient’s vocal mechanism as gleaned from the assessment and the ultimate determination of where the patient can be vocally at the conclusion of therapy. This chapter will prompt the clinician to consider the evaluation findings and how the findings inform the type of therapy that might be help the patient achieve optimal outcomes.

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