Integration of motor learning principles into real-time ambulatory voice biofeedback and example implementation via a clinical case study with vocal fold nodules

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Purpose Ambulatory voice biofeedback (AVB) has the potential to significantly improve voice therapy effectiveness by targeting one of the most challenging aspects of rehabilitation: carryover of desired behaviors outside of the therapy session. Although initial evidence indicates that AVB can alter vocal behavior in daily life, retention of the new behavior after biofeedback has not been demonstrated. Motor learning studies repeatedly have shown retention-related benefits when reducing feedback frequency or providing summary statistics. Therefore, novel AVB settings that are based on these concepts are developed and implemented.

Method The underlying theoretical framework and resultant implementation of innovative AVB settings on a smartphone-based voice monitor are described. A clinical case study demonstrates the functionality of the new relative frequency feedback capabilities.

Results With new technical capabilities, 2 aspects of feedback are directly modifiable for AVB: relative frequency and summary feedback. Although reduced-frequency AVB was associated with improved carryover of a therapeutic vocal behavior (i.e., reduced vocal intensity) in a patient post-excision of vocal fold nodules, causation cannot be assumed.

Conclusions Timing and frequency of AVB schedules can be manipulated to empirically assess generalization of motor learning principles to vocal behavior modification and test the clinical effectiveness of AVB with various feedback schedules.


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Last updated on 02/28/2017