The Use of Speaking Valves in Children With Tracheostomy Tubes Academic Article uri icon

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  • One-way speaking valves have been successfully used to restore audible meaningful speech in adult patients after tracheostomy tube placement. One-way speaking valves have also been used in pediatric patients after tracheostomy tube placement with promising results. We conducted a scoping review to synthesize and summarize the current evidence on the use of one-way tracheostomy tube speaking valves in the pediatric population to identify knowledge gaps that could inform future research programs and facilitate evidence-based clinical decision making. The Arksey and O'Malley 5-step methodological framework was used for this scoping review. We searched OVID MEDLINE, EMBASE, PubMed, Web of Science, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), and Google Scholar to locate articles published between January 1, 1946 and May 26, 2016. Our search resulted in a total of 524 articles. After removing 270 duplicates, we screened 254 abstracts, and 50 articles were identified for full text review. We excluded 38 references. A total of 12 articles met our inclusion criteria. Details of all studies were charted. Application of the Sackett levels of evidence to evaluate the qualitative strength of the evidence provided by the 12 articles selected for study found that 6 studies were level 5, 4 were level 4, and 2 studies were categorized as level 3 evidence. Eligibility criteria for trials of speaking valves were inconsistent across all studies and included a combination of clinical assessment coupled with published indications. Much of the literature has focused on tolerance/successful use of speaking valves in children with a tracheostomy with limited evidence on its impact on verbal communication. Current evidence on the use of speaking valves in children with a tracheostomy, its indication, and its impact on verbal communication is inadequate, mandating further research in this area.


  • Zabih, Weeda
  • Holler, Theresa
  • Syed, Faiza
  • Russell, Laurie
  • Allegro, Jennifer
  • Amin, Reshma

publication date

  • December 2017