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The effectiveness of manual circumlaryngeal therapy in future elite vocal performers

A pilot study

Authors

  • Evelien D'haeseleer PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Music Department, Brussels Royal Conservatory, Erasmus University College, Brussels, Belgium
    • Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Logopaedic and Audiologic Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
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  • Sofie Claeys MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Logopaedic and Audiologic Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
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  • Kristiane Van Lierde PhD

    1. Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Logopaedic and Audiologic Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
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  • The authors have no funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Send correspondence to Evelien D'haeseleer, Department of ENT and Logopaedic and Audiologic Sciences, Ghent University, De Pintelaan 185, 2P1, 9000 Ghent, Belgium. E-mail: evelien.dhaeseleer@ugent.be

Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis

The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of a single session of manual circumlaryngeal therapy on the vocal characteristics of future elite vocal performers (music students).

Study Design

A pretest/post-test control group design was used.

Methods

Sixteen music students were randomly divided in an experimental and control group. The experimental group received manual circumlaryngeal therapy for 20 minutes, whereas the control group was instructed to have complete vocal rest for 20 minutes. Immediately before and after the therapy or vocal rest, an identical objective voice assessment protocol (aerodynamic measurement, acoustic analysis, voice range profile, and Dysphonia Severity Index [DSI]) was performed. Vocal parameters were compared before and after manual circumlaryngeal therapy in the experimental group, and before and after vocal rest in the control group using the Wilcoxon signed rank test.

Results

In the experimental group a significant difference in DSI was found between the measurement before and after manual circumlaryngeal therapy. The median DSI increased from 6.3 before to 7.2 after manual circumlaryngeal therapy. No differences in DSI were found in the control group between the two measurements.

Conclusions

The results of this pilot study prudently suggest that manual circumlaryngeal therapy can also improve vocal capacities in the healthy trained voices of future elite vocal performers.

Level of Evidence

1b Laryngoscope, 123:1937–1941, 2013

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