Date of Award

Spring 5-2-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master Of Science In Communication Sciences And Disorders


Health Sciences

First Advisor

Cox, Violet

Second Advisor

Spears, Carol

Third Advisor

Lammers, Andrew

Subject Headings

Speech therapy


GERD is an esophageal disease that has both esophageal and extra-esophageal symptoms. Due to the acidic nature of GERD, there appears to be a disruption in the function of the tissues surrounding the area of the vocal folds. This study investigated the influence of GERD as it relates to voice and swallowing. Data were previously collected on twelve individuals, six with a medical diagnosis of GERD and six with no medical diagnosis of GERD, and analyzed. This included descriptive analysis of data points from a Visi-Pitch, Videostroboscopy, and Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of the Swallow (FFES). The objective measurements from the Visi-Pitch and descriptive information from the Videostroboscopy and FEES were then combined and compared based on the presence of a medical diagnosis of GERD, by the PI of the study and the co-investigator. Results showed changes in tissue ranging from trace to severe in both the GERD and no-GERD groups. Findings suggest a correlation between abnormal acoustical measures and changes in tissue. Trends were also found based on age, length of diagnosis, and level of severity of tissue changes in both groups. The results of this study could be significant in the clinical treatment of individuals with GERD and highlight the importance of objective data points, and an interdisciplinary team.