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Elizabeth Watson, Paige Morrison, Marie R. Kerins, Ed.D.

The Effect of Training Speech-Language Pathologists in Cognitive-Behavior Therapy to treat individuals with Psychogenic Voice Disorders

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Individuals with psychogenic voice disorders (PVD) experience a loss or disturbance of vocal behavior in the absence of any organic pathology. Previous research shows that PVD is best treated with a combination of voice therapy from a speech-language pathologist combined with cognitive-behavior therapy from a psychotherapist. Individuals with PVD have been shown to be reluctant to pursue psychotherapy due to various reasons, including stigma, cost, and unwillingness to accept a psychological explanation for their symptoms. The purpose of this proposal is to determine if speech-language pathologists can effectively provide cognitive-behavior therapy along with voice therapy to patients with PVD. In this study, clinical psychologists trained speech-language pathologists intensively in cognitive-behavior therapy. Individuals with PVD were randomly assigned to receive voice therapy alone, or voice therapy combined with cognitive-behavior therapy from a speech-language pathologist. Perceptual and physical measures of voice, as well as levels of depression, anxiety and perceived stress were examined before and after intervention to determine the effectiveness of SLP-delivered cognitive behavior therapy.

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