Objective and Subjective Voice Examination in Korean Medicine

  • Yu, Junsang (Department of Sasang Constitutional Medicine, Sangji University College of Korean Medicine)
  • Received : 2014.07.02
  • Accepted : 2014.09.10
  • Published : 2014.09.30


Objectives: When a person speaks, voice problems usually include pain or discomfort and/or difficulties in terms of the pitch, the loudness and the quality of the voice. When patients with voice problems induced by stroke, Parkinson's disease, and systemic diseases involving the voice are examined, generally, of the Four Diagnoses (四診), a Diagnosis of Hearing can be used in current Korean medicine. The effects of acupuncture and herb medicine on voice problems have been reported for over 20 years. However, when it comes to improvements, objective and subjective evaluation methods need to be explained. Methods: Subjective methods for evaluating voice were studied through a literature search of old medicinal books containing Korean medicine diagnostics, and an objective evaluation method using Praat software is presented. Results: Korean medicine doctors analyze the patient's voice in clinical settings unconsciously on a daily basis. However, most voice diagnoses depend on the doctor's subjective evaluation. Voice qualities can be evaluated by using the Eight Principles (八綱), including Yin-Yang; the Five Elements (Phases); the Grade, Roughness, Breathy, Asthenic, Strained (GRBAS) score, and the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) as subjective methods, and an acoustic analysis using the Praat program can be used as an objective method. Conclusion: A more complete voice examination can be achieved by using subjective and objective methods at the same time. For an objective explanation and management of patient's voice problems or systemic disorders, an objective method should be used in Korean medicine, which already has many subjective diagnostic methods. More research needs to be conducted, and more clinical evidence needs to be collected in the future.


Supported by : Sangji University


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