Management of dysphonic patients by otolaryngologists.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate common treatment approaches of general otolaryngologists for adult dysphonic patients without obvious laryngeal anatomic abnormalities. STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. SETTING: General otolaryngology community. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: One thousand randomly chosen American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery general otolaryngologists were mailed a survey. RESULTS: The response rate was 27.8%. Mean years in practice was 19.5. The most common treatments were proton pump inhibitor (PPI), referral to speech pathology, and stroboscopy. Muscle tension dysphonia, vocal fold nodules, and dysphonia of uncertain etiology were the most common reasons for voice therapy referral. Various forms of supraglottic compression and tender extralaryngeal muscles were identified as findings of muscle tension dysphonia. Response to once-daily PPI, laryngeal signs, and throat symptoms were the most common determinants for laryngopharyngeal reflux. When patients failed initial treatment, 58.2% refer for voice therapy, 46.9% obtain stroboscopy, and 33.3% extend or increase duration of PPI treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Varied treatment approaches to adult dysphonic patients were identified. How practice patterns vary from best practice guidelines, affect patient outcome, and influence health care costs needs examination.
Cohen, SM; Pitman, MJ; Noordzij, JP; Courey, M
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