Clinical Psychology and Voice Disorders: An Updated Formulation

Luke Aldridge-Waddon, PhD | Oxford University

Dr. Luke Aldridge-Waddon is a recipient of the 2023 Dysphonia International Research Travel Award in partnership with The Voice Foundation. Dr. Karle participated in the 2023 Voice Foundation Conference and presented research entitled, “Clinical Psychology and Voice Disorders: An Updated Formulation”.

When asked what it meant for him to attend The Fall Voice Conference, he stated that “It was great sharing ideas for treatment of patients with laryngeal dystonia (spasmodic dysphonia).” Dr. Aldridge-Waddon states that his research helps patients because it “identifies differences in psychological characteristics between groups with and without voice disorders. In doing so, it helps raise awareness of the potential psychological needs of voice patients. Psychological wellbeing is an important part of voice disorder formulation, care and recovery, and our research hopefully highlights ways that clinical psychology might be helpful in supporting people with voice disorders.”

Below is an abstract of Dr. Aldridge-Waddon’s podium presentation.


Additional Authors: Chloe Hiles, Victoria Spence, Matthew Hotton

Clinical Psychology and Voice Disorders: A Meta-Analytic Review of Studies Assessing Psychological Characteristics Across Individuals With and Without Voice Disorders, Journal of Voice, 2023, ISSN 0892-1997,

Background: Psychological conceptualizations of voice disorders propose that mood, anxiety, and personality factors play a role in voice symptom development and maintenance.

Aims: This presentation reviews the findings of our recent systematic and meta-analytic review of psychological characteristics in clinical voice disorders, comparing psychological sequelae across groups with and without voice disorders. This is with the aim of providing an updated psychological formulation of voice disorders, drawing together existing models with our review findings.

Methods: Systematic review and meta-analysis (k=39) with formal study quality assessment (Newcastle- Ottawa Scale). Results: Meta-analyses revealed marked differences in psychological characteristics between groups with and without voice disorders, with medium (SMD > .50) effect sizes across measures of depression, state anxiety, trait anxiety, health anxiety, and neuroticism traits. In contrast, no consistent pattern of difference was observed between functional voice disorder and organic voice disorder groups.

Conclusions: Taken together, the findings underline and formulate the psychological sequelae associated with voice disorder diagnoses. They highlight the potential psychological needs of this patient group and, like advances in other areas of physical health care, indicate that there may be a role for clinical psychology in providing support and consultation to voice patients and clinicians.

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Sponsoring Organizations

The Fall Voice Conference is designed to encourage and educate professionals on a multi-disciplinary approach to the management of vocal disorders. The focus of this conference is the clinical care of patients with voice-related difficulties and how clinical and basic science research guide clinical care. For more information:

Dysphonia International is dedicated to improving the lives of people with spasmodic dysphonia and related voice conditions through research, education, awareness, and research.