2023-2024 / LOGO0019-1

Evaluation and management of spoken voice disorders


30h Th

Number of credits

 Master in speech and language therapy (120 ECTS)3 crédits 


Dominique Morsomme

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The prerequisite of this course is Professor C. Finck's anatomy and physiology of phonation (M1) class as well as Professor A. Lagier's class. It is composed of two main parts. Part 1 is devoted to voice assessment and part 2 to treating dysphonia.

When taking care of a patient with voice problems, the speech therapist first carries out a voice assessment. This is the base line to be used to assess the patient's evolution throughout the treatment.
This assessment includes in-depth anamnesis, and acoustic, aerodynamic and perceptual measurements. The acoustic and aeodynamic measurements are performed using the Computer Speech Lab software program. We shall use three programs included in this software package for acoustic measurements, i.e. Multi Dimensional Voice Program (MDVP), Sona-Match and Voice Range Profile (VRP), as well as a program to measure aerodynamics, i.e. using an aerophonoscope. A detailed explanation of each parameter calculated will be given in class, thus facilitating the use of the software within the framework of the "voice assessment" training.
We shall then deal with the subjective aspect of the assessment. This aspect includes a perceptual assessment carried out by the clinician and self-assessment scales. The auditory perceptual assessment will be the subject of a special chapter given that it involves the clinician's attention on the means incurred by their analysis. As regards the assessment scales, they allow patients to express their vocal discomfort in everyday life. We shall end this part with two important steps: the first one will consist of learning to collect the results obtained from the different measurements taken, and the second one of learning to write a clear and precise report of the patient's vocal situation, aimed at the prescribing doctor or the health insurance organisation.

Voice therapy is dealt with in part 2, which explores the different methods it uses. We shall explain the details of the techniques related to the motor, the vibrator and the resonators. These techniques will be placed within the context of a global physical approach. We shall then take another look at the different pathologies, one by one, that were dealt with in the voice classes taught in Master 1, in order to link the treatment techniques with the different types of dysphonia.

The voice care will take place in Evidence-Based Practice context.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

The aim of the course is to enable students to:

1. Understand a medical diagnosis.
2. Accurately assess the patient's vocal condition.
3. Situate the patient's complaint by taking into account the diagnosis, the results of the voice assessment, and the patient's social and private environment.
4. Write a clear report of the patient's vocal condition with the recommendations required to establish a treatment plan for the prescribing doctor or health insurance organisation.
5. Draw up a treatment plan.
6. Know how to make a perceptual assessment of every moment of the patient's vocal production.
6. Make the right choice in treatment techniques according to the patient, their pathology and their environment.
7. Decide when the treatment should end.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

The prerequisite of this course is Professor C. Finck's anatomy and physiology of phonation (M1) class as well as Professor A. Lagier's class.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods


Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

The course requires the presence of students as well as regular work to integrate theoretical and clinical concepts. It is taught using slides and includes numerous sound extracts for illustrative purposes. In addition, the part concerning treatment is illustrated with videos showing patients undergoing treatment. Students can see the beginning of the treatment, its evolution and the end of the treatment.
It is forbidden to record or film classes as this would break the basic code of ethics protecting the patients. The teacher is open to questions from the students and the classes are interactive. Hence, the class can vary from one year to the next.

Recommended or required readings

Students are given a reading list that can vary from one year to the next. It includes works associated with the voice, its assessment and care. It also includes articles written in English dealing with research and studies conducted in all of the abovementioned sections.

The assessment method is presented in the first class. The teacher explains the seven criteria on which the students will be assessed. The criteria are as follows:
1. A theory question
2. Establishing a treatment plan based on a diagnosis and a voice assessment.
3. Drawing a diagram of a cut of a disorder of the vocal folds and choosing the best cut to illustrate it. The aim here is to be able to sketch the patient's disorder and provide further explanation in case the patient hasn't understood the medical explanation.
4. A question reflecting upon a treatment method.
5. An article in English associated with the course or with a theme suggested by the teacher. The article will be presented during the year in the form of slides to the students taking this specialisation. Students will be graded on the day of the presentation.
6. A question about voice perception

Students are advised not to restrict themselves solely to what is taught in class.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course


Course leader: Dominique Morsomme

Association of one or more MOOCs