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Respiratory muscle strength training applications

Sapienza, Christine M

Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery: June 2008 - Volume 16 - Issue 3 - p 216–220
doi: 10.1097/MOO.0b013e3282fe96bd
Speech therapy and rehabilitation: Edited by Bernice Klaben

Purpose of review To provide an overview of respiratory muscle strength training applications for voice and speech disorders.

Recent findings Little examination of respiratory muscle training for the rehabilitation of voice and speech has occurred. Less than a handful of studies discuss use of strengthening techniques for the voice-disordered population and of those, inspiratory muscle strength training shows promise for use with upper airway disorders including abductor vocal fold paralysis and paradoxical vocal cord dysfunction. Case study results of Lance Adams syndrome indicated a positive outcome for maximum phonation time and improved intelligibility ratings and communication effectiveness. Work with the multiple sclerosis population showed no change in qualitative ratings of patient voice handicap and no significant improvement in speech production variables. Current trials with Parkinson's disease are ongoing with no published data currently available with regard to voice and speech production.

Summary Respiratory muscle strengthening programs are either inspiratory or expiratory and are typically accomplished using handheld devices. Training durations typically examined have been 4–8 weeks. Training trials usually take 20–30 min per day. Training frequency varies across studies. Detraining outcomes are important to examine as part of clinical trials. Defining detraining outcomes has major implications for the development of a complete rehabilitation program.

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Florida and The Brain Rehabilitation Research Center, Malcom Randall VA, Gainesville, Florida, USA

Correspondence to Dr Christine M. Sapienza, PhD, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, P.O. Box 117420, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA Tel: +352 392 2046 x233; fax: +352 846 0243; e-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.