Voice Rest and Augmentative and Alternative Communication: A Feasibility Study
Johnson, Jeffrey Phillip
Voice rest is frequently prescribed for patients following vocal fold surgery; however, patient compliance with voice rest has been found to be relatively low. This study examined the impact of text-to-speech (TTS) communication on amount of patient self-reported voice use during voice rest. Seven vocal fold surgery patients prescribed up to seven days of voice rest were randomized to receive either the standard of care treatment or the standard of care treatment plus a TTS augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device. Amounts of post-surgical voice and TTS use were measured via participant self-report on 100 mm visual analogue scales (VAS). Participants’ mean VAS scores for voice use ranged from .5 – 52.4 mm; however, six participants reported mean VAS scores of 8 mm or less, suggesting that TTS access was not a factor in compliance with voice rest. In a comparison of voice use and TTS use within the TTS group, the two participants with the lowest mean VAS scores for voice use had substantially higher mean VAS scores for TTS use than the other members of the TTS group, suggesting that for some patients on voice rest, access to a TTS device may improve or support compliance by decreasing voice use. Additional data must be collected to allow for extensive group comparisons and analyses for a treatment effect associated with the TTS device. Limitations of the present study and considerations for enhancing continued and future research are discussed.