Kinesio Taping (KT) application in speech therapy has been studied in a few works about dysphonia, facial nerve palsy, sialorrhea, atypical deglutition, postsurgical recovery after thyroidectomy and laryngectomy. The aim of this study was the evaluation of the possible role of KT in supporting speech therapy in singers complaining of dysphonia using singing voice handicap index (SVHI), fundamental frequency (F0), shimmer, jitter and harmonic to noise ratio (mean H/N).
Materials and methods
We enrolled consecutive singers and singing students complaining of dysphonia and voice problems. Control group (DG1) was composed of 15 individuals who underwent traditional speech therapy only, while Case group (DG2), also composed of 15 subjects, underwent traditional speech therapy associated with KT application. A computerized voice analysis was conducted using PRAAT software observing F0, jitter, shimmer and mean H/N before (t1), at mid (t2) and after (t3) the treatment. Moreover, each patient filled in the SVHI before (t1) and after (t3) the complete speech therapy treatment.
The mean F0 and H/N measured before, during and after the logopedic treatment, showed a notable increase over time (P value <0.001) both for DG1 and DG2. However, no significant difference was found comparing the two groups. Jitter and Shimmer after treatment were clearly seen to be lower than before in both groups (P value <0.001), and followed a significantly different trend over time (P value <0.001). Moreover, unlike F0 and mean H/N, these parameters underwent a significantly greater decrease in DG2 compared to DG1. Lastly, SVHI improved at t3 and although these reductions were clear in both groups, it was greater in DG2 than in DG1.
Discussion and conclusions
Our findings are encouraging and suggest the possibility of using KT in case of vocal pathologies in singers. It is imperative to underline that the tape does not replace speech therapy, but could possibly enhance the effects of the treatment.