The Provincial Voice Care Resource Program provides assessment and therapy programs for individuals with voice and laryngeal breathing problems.
The Provincial Voice Care Resource Program (PVCRP) began in June 1993 to serve the needs of British Columbians affected by dysfunction of the voice and larynx (voice box) and to provide an educational and training resource for professional practitioners involved in voice care.
What to expect
Highly trained professionals in voice and larynx (voice box) problems offer speech-language pathology services. Our team works collaboratively with other health-care professionals, including otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat specialists), psychiatrists and other medical specialists to ensure the most comprehensive and effective care.
We also house the latest equipment to assess, diagnose and treat people with voice and speech disorders. The purpose of our program is to:
- offer high-quality community-based clinical services to individuals suffering from dysfunction of the voice and larynx; and
- manage the Fred Gingell Memorial Stuttering Treatment Support Program.
Voice problems can affect communication, but not all health professionals have extensive training in diagnosing and treating communication problems. Few have access to the expertise, inter-professional collaboration and equipment required to manage all aspects of a complex voice problem. Our program gives health care professionals and their patients expertise and support in this specialty area.
You help develop your own care plan
The health professional(s) you meet will discuss many different aspects of your health and lifestyle to help you determine all factors contributing to your voice problem. The information you provide will be considered strictly confidential, so the more detail you can offer, the more we can help you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What types of procedures are performed in the clinic?
Several procedures are performed in our clinic to diagnose your voice problems. They may include:
- Using special equipment and computer programs to examine and record your larynx (voice box) and your face while you speak. You will be asked to make different vocal sounds on camera.
- Conducting a laryngoscopy by putting a small telescope in your mouth or nose. This lets us observe the vocal folds while they vibrate, evaluate fine details of their movement, and see how healthy they are. This is typically a painless procedure where you are wide awake and an active participant.
- Breathing and speaking into a face mask attached to different airflow measurement devices. This helps us evaluate the airflow of your vocal production. This is a completely painless procedure.
- Conducting a physical examination of your neck, face, and other areas relevant to voice production as required.
All aspects of the assessment and treatment processes and results will be explained and discussed with you.
What treatments are available for voice problems?
Depending on the nature of the voice problem, we may recommend medical or surgical treatments or voice therapy.
Voice therapy treatment
Voice therapy is often the primary treatment approach for patients. Voice therapy is directed by speech-language pathologists and may be provided through our program or in public health clinics, hospitals, school districts, special rehabilitation centres or private clinics. The voice care professionals will help you determine what types of therapy would be most beneficial and convenient for you.
Depending on the service provider, there could be a waiting period for voice therapy services and a professional fee. Contact your extended health plan, worker's compensation plan, or life-insurance plan policy before you receive treatment to understand your coverage for speech therapy. This will help you and your voice care professional(s) decide on your options for a voice therapy program.
Medical or surgical treatment
If you need medical or surgical treatment, the necessary referrals for your treatment can be arranged. Sometimes medical or surgical treatments are most successful if they are combined with a course of voice therapy or other rehabilitation therapies.
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The voice care professionals you may meet as part of our team include:
- Alannah Turner, MSc., Registered Speech Language Pathologist (Registered through the College of Speech and Hearing Health Professionals of BC)
- Interns and Students from Speech Language pathology training programs
- Interns, medical students and residents from UBC otolaryngology training programs and post-doctoral and sabbatical fellows
Our program objectives
Under the direction of Alannah Turner, and with support from the Provincial Health Services Authority and Vancouver Coastal Health, the PVCRP’s objectives are to provide:
- Tertiary-level, interprofessional clinical services to British Columbia residents with dysfunction of the voice and larynx, particularly those with complex causes.
- Community-based services to reduce the incidence of preventable disorders of the voice and larynx.
- Outcome measurement systems specific to the management of voice-disordered populations to form the basis of quality assurance.
- Resources for prevention of voice disorders and management of individuals with dysfunction of the voice and larynx.
Stuttering treatment grant program
Fred Gingell Memorial Stuttering Treatment Support Program reimburses eligible participants for tuition expenses incurred to attend an approved intensive stuttering treatment program.
What are voice problems?
The cause of voice problems can vary widely, from muscle tension related to psychological stress to physical changes on the vocal cords.
Professional training programs
Professional orientation programs are offered to provide speech-language pathologists serving individuals with dysfunction of the voice and larynx with up-to-date information and clinical skills to deliver effective and efficient community-based voice care programs in British Columbia.
Learn more about training programs for voice care professionals
Find this service near you
Vancouver General Hospital (VGH)899 West 12th Avenue Vancouver