Review of Visual and Auditory Status
Both hearing and visual acuity should be evaluated informally initially to determine if further assessment is needed. As an individual ages, he or she is more likely to have diminished hearing and vision. Visual acuity is important when evaluating a patient for a voice disorder as misjudging listener distance may cause the patient to alter his or her voice. Hearing loss can affect respiration, phonation, resonance, and prosody (Boone, et al., 2013).
Auditory Perceptual Ratings
Auditory-perceptual measures are important for evaluating dysphonia and documenting therapy progress. Aspects of the voice are rated from normal to severe and include pitch, loudness, voice quality, resonance, articulation, respiration, prosody, and intelligibility (Boone, et al., 2013).
Behavioral observations often can tell the clinician more than written history and assessment data. These observations can involve written, audio or video tapings of the patient’s communications and can show the clinician how the patient functions in a two-person relationship (Boone, et al., 2013).
Voice-Related Quality of Life
Voice–related quality of life assessments are either a part of an overall health-related quality of life assessment or a specific communication-related quality of life assessment. The Voice Handicap Index (VHI) is the one that is most commonly used.
These instruments are important for in defining overall therapy goals and in assessing treatment outcomes. For the most part, voice-disordered patients reported poor communication-related quality of life and overall health-related quality of life (Boone, et al., 2013).
Oral Peripheral Mechanism Exam
The oral-mechanism exam is an assessment of the larynx and respiratory systems. The face, oral and nasal cavities, and pharynx are also examined and assessed. Breathing and neck tension should be observed (Boone, et al., 2013).