A Journal of Observational Laryngology

Clinical observations, anecdotes, case series, and conceptual frameworks for further exploration


About the Journal

A Journal of Observational Laryngology features observations and insights gleaned from the practice of laryngology. It is intended to focus on observation more than measurement. Quantitative measurement is rightly a pillar of evidence-based medicine, but we focus more on keen qualitative observation, believing that it has an irreplaceable role in the clinical realm. That’s because quantitative information is not yet very helpful for diagnosis of most voice disorders. Even so, continued study of quantitative, “objective” measures may one day make them more useful clinically than they are at present. Still, an excessive focus on objective measures can lead clinicians to neglect what are, for now, far more powerful observational or qualitative diagnostic approaches.

This journal is also a place to report individual cases or series of cases that might be illuminating to others but which contain lesser levels of evidence than might be publishable in conventional journals. We acknowledge that anecdote is not evidence, and that even a series of cases does not rank highly in the pyramid of evidence. For instance, “The Oxford 2011 Levels of Evidence” classifies most case series as Level 4 evidence, whereas various kinds of systematic reviews are considered Level 1 evidence. Nevertheless, anecdotes or limited case series still have a unique power to spark fresh insight, raise or illuminate questions, and stimulate more formal search for evidence.

Our main intent is not to solicit contributions from others, but we are certainly glad to consider submissions from other clinicians in the realm of laryngology who have valuable experiences to share. Of particular interest to us are:

  1. “Index case” anecdotes that gave birth to an insight
  2. Case series, particularly of unusual or rare disorders
  3. Acutely observed or systematized diagnostic indicators that are perceived in the activity of voicing, swallowing, breathing, or coughing (that is, the phenomenologies of these activities)
  4. Carefully reasoned philosophies of treatment, based upon extensive experience
  5. Clearly explained and illustrated “How I do it” articles.

We hope this journal can be an occasionally helpful or thought-provoking resource.

Robert W. Bastian, MD, Founder
Corinne Elliot, Editorial Assistant

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