Applying the Voice Handicap Index (VHI) to dysphonic and nondysphonic Hebrew speakers

Ofer Amir, Odelia Ashkenazi, Tali Leibovitzh, Orit Michael, Yael Tavor, Michael Wolf
Journal of Voice 2006, 20 (2): 318-24

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate a translated version of the Voice Handicap Index (VHI) as a diagnostic tool for people with and without a laryngeal pathology, among Hebrew speakers.

STUDY DESIGN: Parallel group design.

METHODS: The VHI was translated and adapted to Hebrew. The translated version was, then, administered to a group of 182 patients with various laryngeal pathologies and a control group of 171 people with no laryngeal pathology. Based on the participants' responses to the VHI, statistical analyses were, initially, performed to assess validity and reliability, and then to evaluate group differences between the pathological and control groups and among the different pathological groups included in the study.

RESULTS: Statistical analyses showed high reliability values of the Hebrew version of the VHI (overall Cronbach's alpha r = 0.976). Participants' scores were not affected by their age (P = 0.156) or gender (P = 0.261). The participants in the control group obtained significantly lower scores on the overall VHI score, as well as on all three subscale scores, in comparison with the pathological group (P < 0.001). In addition, within the pathological group, patients with neurogenic pathologies received higher scores than all other pathological groups, whereas patients with laryngeal inflammation received lower scores than all other pathological groups (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: The VHI is a powerful tool for quantifying patients' perceptions of their voice handicaps, and it maintained its power across translation. The VHI was shown to be valuable for the assessment of speakers with, as well as without laryngeal pathologies.

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