Are We Listening To Their Silent Voices? An Investigation of Speech-Language Pathologists’ Knowledge of Spasmodic Dysphonia, Their Perceptions of Treatment, and Patient Experiences with Treatment
Name: Katlyn Yeager
Major: Communication Sciences and Disorders
Advisors: Donald M. Goldberg, Joan E. Furey (Second Reader)
The purpose of this study was to investigate speech-language pathologists’ (SLPs’) familiarity with and knowledge regarding Spasmodic Dysphonia (SD) and their perceptions of the treatment options available; along with their ratings of the clinical effectiveness of those options. A secondary focus of this investigation was to also study adult patients with SD who have received one or more treatment options.
The quantitative method of survey research, along with selected qualitative probes were used to investigate both SLPs and patients with a diagnosis of SD, via their respective online surveys. Results indicated that both SLPs and patients with SD ranked BOTOX® as the most effective of the treatment options, though patients were hesitant to characterize that option as universally the most effective. In addition, many SLPs appeared to require more academic and clinical training regarding SD. Notable was the SLPs’ limited knowledge of SD. Similarly, numerous patients surveyed described extensive waiting periods, searching for a diagnosis, along with misdiagnosis.
Key Words: spasmodic dysphonia (SD), speech-language pathologists (SLP), voice disorders, Adductor SD, Abductor SD, voice treatment, BOTOX®
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Graduate as a licensed teacher in pre-K-12 in fields ranging from science to music educationMajor Minor Teaching Licensure