The purpose of this study was to examine the level of awareness professionals have of paradoxical vocal fold motion (PVFM) and the diagnostic controversy that often presents with this disorder. More specifically, this study investigated the awareness among speech-language pathologists (SLPs), primary care physicians PCPs), and athletic trainers (ATs) on their overall familiarity with the disorder as well as their knowledge of the symptoms, etiology, diagnostic criteria, treatments, and differential diagnoses for PVFM. A total of 198 SLPs (n= 117), PCPs (n=39), and ATs (n=42) completed an online survey. The results revealed SLPs to be significantly more familiar with PVFM than ATs, and showed that ATs thought laryngoscopy was significantly more important for acquiring a definitive diagnoses than SLPs. Results also indicated significant differences between SLPs and PCPs, in that SLPs found case history to be more important than PCPs, while PCPs found exercise challenge testing to be more important that SLPs. PCPs also scored significantly higher than SLPs did for determining what other disorders PVFM gets misdiagnosed as. No significant differences were found between PCPs and ATs. In general, ATs had a lower level of awareness of PVFM relative to the other two groups. Furthermore, although SLPs had more patient experience, SLPs and PCPs were comparable in their knowledge of PVFM. The researcher discusses the implications of the study’s findings for clinical practice.

Key words: Paradoxical vocal fold motion, vocal cord dysfunction, voice disorder, asthma, differential diagnosis, speech- language pathologist, primary care physicians, and athletic trainer.


Furey, Joan




Communication Sciences and Disorders

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2016 Lauren K. Hancher