Management of the transgender voice
Transsexualism is a condition involving a paradoxical feeling of belonging to the opposite sex. Acquiring a sex-appropriate voice is a crucial part of the patient gaining acceptance in their new gender. Speech and language therapists and otolaryngologists play an important role in influencing communication behaviour in transgender patients by altering the fundamental frequency of speech to one acceptable for the patient's sex.
Review of the literature suggests that speech and language therapy is successful at creating an acceptable fundamental frequency in transgender patients, as well as influencing other communication behaviours. Laryngeal surgery, such as cricothyroid approximation, has an important role in raising the fundamental frequency in those who do not achieve acceptable voice via non-surgical means. There is little information on patient satisfaction and quality of life measures. Research is currently underway to explore this aspect further.(Published Online April 26 2006)
(Accepted December 3 2005)
Key Words: Transsexualism; Voice Disorders; Voice Quality.
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