Date of Award

8-3-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Education and Educational Technology

First Advisor

Lori Lombard, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Second Advisor

Jill Brady, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Third Advisor

David Stein, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Abstract

The thyroid gland is positioned directly below the larynx in the anterior portion of the neck (Kumrow & Dahlen, 2002). The nerves and arteries of the thyroid and larynx are intertwined thus damage to one structure could easily affect the other structure. Thyroid dysfunction may also affect the histology of the larynx thus changing vocal quality (Stemple, 2010). This study measured vocal quality of patients with thyroid disease using the Consensus Auditory Perceptual Evaluation of Voice (CAPE-V). Voice samples from 16 subjects with thyroid disease were compared to an age-matched group of 18 control subjects with no reported history of thyroid dysfunction. An experienced voice clinician rated each sample on the six parameters of the CAPE-V: overall severity, roughness, breathiness, strain, pitch and loudness. Statistical analysis of the results revealed a significant difference between the thyroid disease group and the control group for overall severity of vocal quality and vocal roughness. These results further strengthen the connection between thyroid disease and vocal dysfunction. Further research is warranted to explore the specific thyroid diagnoses that relate to vocal dysfunction, as well as to strengthen the findings on a larger population of participants.

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