Patient-Centered Care in Vocal Fold Paralysis: What Really Matters?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: Literature review of patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures after surgical intervention for unilateral vocal fold paralysis (UVFP). Recent Findings: The majority of studies focus on resolution of dysphonia, dyspnea, and dysphagia, while few studies focus on psychosocial dimensions. Overall, voice-related PRO measures improve after all interventions; however, they do not normalize to pre-UVFP levels, as issues remain with singing, loud speech, and high-vocal-demand activities. All voice-related PRO measures have comparable improvement across all interventions. Dyspnea symptoms are common after UVFP; however, studies evaluating dyspnea-related PRO measures are not. Symptoms improve after interventions, but do not fully resolve in activities with high physical demand. All dysphagia-related PRO measures are associated with improvement after all types of interventions. Patient-reported symptoms, diet advancement, and decline in prevalence of aspiration are achieved in the majority of patients, though persistent diet modification and compensatory strategies continue to be employed by most. Summary: UVFP interventions result in meaningful patient-reported improvements in voice, breathing, and swallow aspects, though do not normalize to pre-UVFP levels. Further PRO measure studies are needed to improve patient-centered care for UVFP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-364
Number of pages20
JournalCurrent Otorhinolaryngology Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 7 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
SM is supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health (K23DC016335) and American College of Surgeons/Triological Society. The contents herein reflect the opinions of the authors and not the funding entities.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Dysphagia
  • Dysphonia
  • Dyspnea
  • Patient-centered care
  • Patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures
  • Unilateral vocal fold paralysis


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