University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Management of Vocal Cord Dysfunction in an Elite Female Swimmer: a Case Study

Roberts, Claire-Marie and Faull, Andrea (2016) An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Management of Vocal Cord Dysfunction in an Elite Female Swimmer: a Case Study. In: The Association for Applied Sport Psychology 31st Annual Conference, 28th September - 1st October 2016, Phoenix, Arizona.

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Acute pulmonary disorders are commonplace within the athletic population, with exercise induced bronchoconstriction (EIB), and vocal cord dysfunction (VCD) common diagnoses. VCD is a condition that causes the adduction of the vocal folds during inhalation, causing obstruction at the larynx and thereby a severely impaired sporting performance. VCD can be brought on by laryngeal irritants, emotional and psychological stress and asthma. The gold standard of treatment for VCD centres on an interdisciplinary approach from specialists that often include a respiratory consultant, speech and language therapist (SLT) and a psychologist. The present case study details the interdisciplinary approach to the treatment of an elite female swimmer with VCD with an intervention programme that lasted nine weeks, instigated by a local general practitioner (G.P.) who chose to engage a Sport Psychology Consultant (SPC) due to the sport-specific nature of the psychological stress experienced by the individual. The steps involved in the design of the sport psychology interventions are outlined and the relationship of those interventions to the work of the other specialists is discussed. The 9 week intervention programme was aimed at reducing perfectionist tendencies and competitive state anxiety using a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), goal-setting and imagery. Overall, the treatment programme was deemed a success as perfectionism and competitive state anxiety levels reduced over time along with the frequency of VCD occurrence. This case study demonstrates the breadth of roles that can be undertaken by a SPC and raises awareness of a complex respiratory disorder that is not yet fully understood.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Vocal Cord Dysfunction, VCD, elite female swimmers
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > School of Sport and Exercise Science
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Depositing User: Claire-Marie Roberts
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2016 13:30
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:14

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