Brisbane Voice Clinic

Providing Evidence-Based Treatment of Voice, Chronic Cough & Paradoxical Vocal Fold Movement (PVFM)

Elizabeth Savina and Bernadette Dutton are Certified Practising Speech Pathologists with considerable experience in the assessment and treatment of Voice, Cough and VCD/PVFM. They have both worked in major hospitals in Senior ENT positions and are passionate about helping patients to get their voices back into gear. Elizabeth and Bernadette conduct choirs and are skilled singers, having a special interest in contemporary and folk styles.

The Brisbane Voice Clinic has research standard recording equipment and acoustic analysis software  

Our services include clinic appointments, tele-health and workplace visits (as scheduling allows). 
Saturday appointments available.  We can offer twice weekly appointments if higher intensity therapy is likely to be of benefit. 

Ages 6 To 106!                                              

We are pleased to provide services for children aged 6 years+ and for adults

Seven Ways to Help Your Voice– Download the Free E-book

1. GET THE CLOSURE RIGHT – USE AN SOVT
2. BREATHE IN SOME STEAM
3. KEEP YOURSELF WELL HYDRATED GENERALLY
4. MANAGE REFLUX
5. CHECK MEDICATIONS
6. REPLACE UNPRODUCTIVE COUGHING/THROAT CLEARING
7. USE EARPLUGS IN NOISY ENVIRONMENTS

Conveniently Located within the
Headache Neck and Jaw Clinic

A: 2/1471 Sandgate Road, Nundah QLD 4012

E: elizabeth.savina@loqui.com.au

P: 0410 114 490           F: 07 3144 5617

PARKING: We recommend you park on Robinson Rd, the left hand turn just before the Go-Gecko. 

Who can we help?

  • Singers
  • Teachers/Lecturers 
  • Salespeople, Receptionists, Telemarketers
  • Anyone experiencing difficulties with their voice
    • Hoarseness,
    • Feelings of strain and increased effort to talk
    • Vocal Fatigue 
    • Reduced pitch range
    • Voice weakness or soft volume 
    • Lower or higher pitched voice
    • Changes in voice associated with menopause 
    • Changes in voices associated with ageing

We work with:

  • Muscle Tension Dysphonia
  • Vocal Fold Palsy 
  • Vocal Fold Nodules, Polyps and Granulomas
  • Spasmodic Dysphonia
  • Chronic Cough
  • Paradoxical Vocal Fold Movement/Vocal Cord Dysfunction
  • Transgender Voice

What happens in Voice Therapy? 

We ask you to complete a case history form prior to coming to us so that we can maximise our time with you.

In your first appointment we will:

  • Check aspects of your case history
  • Conduct a voice assessment taking recordings with research-grade equipment and software.
  • Conduct an assessment of your posture, head /neck musculature, and breathing patterns
  • Identify and teach exercises and stretches that will improve your voice (these will be emailed to you)
  • Provide manual therapy (massage) if it is likely to be helpful
  • Provide personalised information about voice care, including equipment and environmental modifications (this will be emailed to you)

Home Exercises 

We will usually give you exercises that initially only take 1-2 minutes, however we ask that you complete them 3-5 times/day 5-7 days/week. At first you will need to give all of your attention to the exercises, however, with practice, they can be done while doing other tasks.

At review appointments we will get you to show us how you are completing your exercises and we will then refine or give more complex exercises.

How many sessions are required? 

This will vary with the diagnosis, severity/complexity of your voice difficulty,  how long you have had the voice difficulties for and your vocal requirements (e.g. singing/lecturing/working in background noise). The literature and our experience suggests most people will achieve their goals within 4-6 sessions. You should notice some improvements within the first 2 sessions. There are some programs for specific diagnosis (e.g. Parkinson’s Disease) that require greater intensity and number of sessions. 

Session Costs 

Initial Appointment Voice/Cough/PVFM-VCD  = $190 (1 hour 15 min face to face )

Subsequent individualised therapy  = $130/session (45 min face to face)

We accept

– Workcover & DVA (Billed Directly, generally no fee for the client)
– Medicare Chronic Disease Management Plans and Private Health Funds (will generally require a gap payment on the day of service)

What do You Need Before coming to see Us? 

For Patients with Voice Difficulties

We require patients to have had imaging of their larynx (voice-box) by an ENT, preferably with stroboscopy (this allows the best visualisation of the vocal cords). We need to receive the ENT report (and video whenever possible) before we can give the patient any vocal exercises.

For Patients with Cough, Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD) and Paradoxical Vocal Fold Movement (PVFM)

We require a diagnosis of Chronic Refractory Cough  or VCD/PVFM by an ENT or Respiratory Specialist. We appreciate receiving reports of laryngeal imaging, or other testing, such as respiratory function tests. If there are voice changes along with the Chronic Cough/PVFM we require patients to have had imaging of their larynx before we give any vocal exercises. 

How Can a Speech Pathologist Help My Cough?

Speech Pathologists receive extensive training in the anatomy, physiology and neural control of the larynx. Research has demonstrated that Speech Pathologists can help patients learn to gain conscious control of the larynx and override a hyperactive cough reflex. If you have chronic cough without cahnges to your voice, this generally requires only 1-2 sessions. 

About our Team

Elizabeth Savina, BSpPath (Hons I), CPSP*

Member of the Laryngology Society of Australasia & Australian Voice Association

Elizabeth has extensive clinical skills in the assessment and treatment of voice disorders. She collaborates with, and contributes to, statewide groups and national organisations. Together with Bernadette Dutton, she manages the Brisbane Voice Clinic. 

Elizabeth has particular interest in Voice therapy for Performers and those that use their voice for work. She also is passionate about treating Chronic Refractory Cough & Vocal Cord Dysfunction/ Paradoxical Vocal Fold Movement. She has worked in Queensland Hospitals as a senior ENT speech pathologist. Elizabeth conducts community choirs and is a skilled singer and musician, having a special interest in contemporary and folk styles.

Elizabeth has undertaken further professional development in the area of voice with including training in Myofascial Release for Head and Neck conditions. 

In 2014 she was awarded Outstanding Contribution to the Australian Voice Association and in 2012 was certified as Voice Therapy Spectrum Clinical Provider (Multi-Voice Dimensions) and gained her Certificate of Figure Proficiency with Estill International.

Elizabeth regularly practices mindfulness and techniques from ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)

In 2017 she provided consultancy to researchers from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Griffith University, on the Asia-Pacific Sing to Beat Parkinson’s project.

International, National & State Presentations include:
Steam, Straws and Stroboscopy –  An Update on Voice Care (2019) Choralfest 
– Promoting Vocal Safety in Singing Groups for People with Parkinson’s Disease (2018) Sing to Beat Parkinson’s Asia-Pacific Symposium
Steam, Straws and Earplugs: How to look after your Voice (2016) Woodford Folk Festival
– Semi-occluded Tract Exercises for Voice Therapy (2014) and Vocal Function Exercises (2015) Qld Voice SIG
– Mirror Neurons in Vocal Pedagogy (2013) International Congress of Voice Teachers

BACHELOR OF SPEECH PATHOLOGY (Hons I). CERTIFIED PRACTISING Speech Pathologist, MEMBER OF SPEECH PATHOLOGY AUSTRALIA. 

 

Bernadette Dutton  BSpPath, CPSP*

Member of the Australian Voice Association. 

Bernadette Dutton, Principal of Loqui Speech Pathology is a qualified speech pathologist, highly experienced in the assessment and management of voice disorders, chronic refractory cough,  VCD/PVFM and voice therapy for professional voice users.

Bernadette brings to the clinic more than 20 years voice experience, having worked as a senior ENT speech pathologists in both outpatient and inpatient tertiary hospital settings.

Bernadette has managed voice diagnostic, voice therapy and spasmodic dysphonia clinics. She is also a clinical educator at the University of Queensland and Australian Catholic University voice clinics. 

Bernadette sings in a Brisbane choir and conducts a Wellness Choir for seniors and people with neurological conditions. 

*BACHELOR OF SPEECH PATHOLOGY. CERTIFIED PRACTISING MEMBER OF SPEECH PATHOLOGY AUSTRALIA.  

Brisbane Voice Clinic