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EBP Compendium: Summary of Clinical Practice Guideline

Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists; Department of Health (UK); National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE)
RCSLT Clinical Guidelines: 5.6 Clinical Voice Disorders

Taylor-Goh, S., ed. (2005).
RCSLT Clinical Guidelines. Bicester, Speechmark Publishing Ltd.

AGREE Rating: Highly Recommended


This evidence-based guideline provides recommendations for the assessment and management of voice disorders in children and adults. This guideline is targeted to speech-language pathologists.


  • Voice/Resonance Screening/Assessment
    • Individuals should have an examination by an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) Surgeon before receiving speech/language intervention. Ideally, an individual should attempt to receive treatment from a Joint ENT/Speech and Language Therapy Voice Clinic.
    • A perceptual voice and respiratory assessment should be conducted in order to establish an accurate voice profile.
    • High quality audio recording is necessary.
    • It is recommended that measurements of aerodynamics, pitch, intensity, resonance, vibratory cycle, and/or aspects of vocal quality be made.
    • Perceptions should be collected of the individual or other friends/relatives regarding the impact and symptoms of the voice disorder.
    • The SLP may conduct palpation of the extrinsic laryngeal musculature.
    • Differential diagnosis should be considered.
  • Voice/Resonance Treatment
    • Management of voice disorders should include client education including explanation of the impact of hydration, environment, voice use, and lifestyle.
    • Direct treatment may be necessary in order to alter vocal fold adduction or respiratory patterns, modify pitch, reduce supraglottic activity, alter resonance, or adjust articulatory tension.
    • Indirect treatment techniques, such as relaxation strategies may be necessary if pscyhological or social factors contribute to the voice disorder.

Keywords: Voice Disorders

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Added to Compendium: November 2010

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