Barriers to Voice Therapy Attendance in a Language-Diverse Population.

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Voice therapy is an effective treatment for many voice disorders, but success depends on attendance and adherence. Many factors hinder treatment attendance, and language discordance with the provider may present an additional obstacle to attending therapy. This study evaluates factors associated with voice therapy attendance at a language-diverse, safety-net hospital.Retrospective chart review METHODS: Retrospective review of adult patients referred to speech language pathology for treatment of voice disorders from January, 2018 to April, 2019. Primary spoken language, interpreter collaboration, and patient demographics were obtained from medical records. Multivariate analysis compared patient factors with voice therapy attendance versus nonattendance.Of 422 patients, 219 (52%) attended at least one therapy session, whereas 203 (48%) did not attend (n = 120) or schedule therapy (n = 83). In multivariate analysis, only the association between public insurance and nonattendance was statistically significant (P = .016). After adjusting for interpreter use and interval between referral and first appointment, patients with private health insurance were 2.35 times more likely to attend therapy compared to those with public insurance (95% confidence interval: 1.18-4.71). Non-English language; interpreter collaboration; distance from hospital; and patient demographics, including age, gender, ethnicity, and birthplace, did not significantly correlate with attendance.In a culturally and language-diverse cohort of dysphonic patients, individuals with public health insurance were significantly less likely to attend voice therapy. Language-discordant therapy and interpreter collaboration was not a statistically significant barrier to therapy attendance. Additional investigation is warranted to optimize allocation of voice therapy resources for those with public health insurance and for diverse speakers of all languages.4 Laryngoscope, 2020.

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