Functional hoarseness in children: short-term play therapy with family dynamic counseling as therapy of choice

Kollbrunner, Jürg; Seifert, Eberhard (2013). Functional hoarseness in children: short-term play therapy with family dynamic counseling as therapy of choice. Journal of voice, 27(5), pp. 579-588. Mosby 10.1016/j.jvoice.2013.01.010

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Children with nonorganic voice disorders (NVDs) are treated mainly using direct voice therapy techniques such as the accent method or glottal attack changes and indirect methods such as vocal hygiene and voice education. However, both approaches tackle only the symptoms and not etiological factors in the family dynamics and therefore often enjoy little success. The aim of the "Bernese Brief Dynamic Intervention" (BBDI) for children with NVD was to extend the effectiveness of pediatric voice therapies with a psychosomatic concept combining short-term play therapy with the child and family dynamic counseling of the parents. This study compares the therapeutic changes in three groups where different procedures were used, before intervention and 1 year afterward: counseling of parents (one to two consultations; n = 24), Brief Dynamic Intervention on the lines of the BBDI (three to five play therapy sessions with the child plus two to four sessions with the parents; n = 20), and traditional voice therapy (n = 22). A Voice Questionnaire for Parents developed by us with 59 questions to be answered on a four-point Likert scale was used to measure the change. According to the parents' assessment, a significant improvement in voice quality was achieved in all three methods. Counseling of parents (A) appears to have led parents to give their child more latitude, for example, they stopped nagging the child or demanding that he/she should behave strictly by the rules. After BBDI (B), the mothers were more responsive to their children's wishes and the children were more relaxed and their speech became livelier. At home, they called out to them less often at a distance, which probably improved parent-child dialog. Traditional voice therapy (C) seems to have had a positive effect on the children's social competence. BBDI seems to have the deepest, widest, and therefore probably the most enduring therapeutic effect on children with NVD.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders (ENT)

UniBE Contributor:

Kollbrunner, Jürg, Seifert, Eberhard


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Martin Kompis

Date Deposited:

07 Mar 2014 09:14

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:29

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Family dynamics, Nonorganic voice disorder, Pediatric functional dysphonia, Psychosomatic, Systemic therapy, Vocal fold nodules


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