Defining the psychiatric role in spastic dysphonia

Barry I. Ginsberg, Joel J. Wallack, James J. Srain, Hugh F. Biller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The authors evaluated 11 surgically-treated patients with spastic dysphonia, a phonation disorder of unclear etiology. The results indicate that the illness does not appear to be a somatoform disorder, but that stress may play a role in its expression, and that there may be secondary depression and anxiety. The experience of spastic dysphonics suggests that psychiatric treatments may be inappropriately applied to an illness without clear organic etiology, whereas, conversely, a proper psychiatric role may be rejected when effective medical or surgical treatment is available. The authors recommend that psychiatrists evaluating patients with illnesses of unclear etiology should be cautious in making a primary psychiatric diagnosis unless DMS-III criteria are met.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-137
Number of pages6
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1988


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