Aphonia refers to a complete absence of voice.
Dysphonia refers to voice changes, characterised by abnormality of pitch, volume, resonance and/or quality which can be inconsistent or constant, ranging from mild to severe and which may be inappropriate for the age, gender or culture of the speaker.
- SLTs working with dysphonic patients are members of a specialist multidisciplinary team and it is suggested they be commissioned as part of such.
- Direct speech and language therapy treatment of a person with the voice disorder is usually conducted in a one-to-one situation.
- Educational programmes aimed at preventing voice disorders or their relapse are conducted in groups.
- SLTs have a key role in identifying vocal risk, particularly in those who are heavy voice users, e.g. teachers, call centre workers, and in educating in methods of preventing vocal abuse.
- Those with vocal disorders often experience difficulties with social communications. It has a major impact upon the quality of life as it can reduce access to recreation, education, employment, social integration, including forming relationships and expressing personality.
- The level of input required is not linear to the severity of the symptom, e.g. a patient with a severely abnormal speaking voice may only require one session of SLT input, whereas a patient with an apparently normal speaking voice may require six sessions.
For further information read our voice factsheet
View voice sections:
- Introduction: characteristics, aetiology, vulnerability and risk issues.
- Role of speech and language therapy: assessment, diagnosis and management.
- Prevalence and incidence statistics
- Evidence and research
- Guidelines and supporting resources
- RCSLT Bulletin resources
- Useful contacts: RCSLT advisers, RCSLT clinical excellence networks, key organisations.
- Reference list
- Website contributors and date of last review
Cross-reference with other topic areas:
- Acquired motor speech disorders
- Adult respiratory care
- Augmentative and alternative communication
- Mental health
- Progressive neurological disorders