Paediatric voice disorder: who to refer and how to assess? A summary of recent literature

Cohen, Wendy and Wynne, David M. (2024) Paediatric voice disorder: who to refer and how to assess? A summary of recent literature. Current Opinion in Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery, 32 (3). pp. 156-165. ISSN 1531-6998 (

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Purpose of review The purpose of this review is to update the reader with recent advances and current opinion on the assessment and management of paediatric voice disorders. Recent findings Access to advanced multidisciplinary paediatric voice clinics has increased over the last decade. Often the assessment is combined between speech therapy/pathology and ENT surgery. Vocal fold nodules remain the most prevalent diagnosis at a paediatric voice clinic, but significant diseases will also present, for example laryngeal papilloma. Recently, more consideration of the psychosocial aspect of voice disorders and evaluation of auditory processing disorders have shown how these can have a negative impact. There also appears to be a lack of parental and teacher awareness of paediatric voice disorders and their significance. Summary We would recommend multiparametric assessment and analysis of all children with a voice disorder. Most paediatric voice conditions will respond to skilled voice therapy. However, the exact techniques and dosage requires further evaluation and research. Paediatric voice conditions are common and should not be dismissed, as they may represent significant disease, for example papilloma, vagal palsy or have a significant psychosocial impact on the child.

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