Creation and validation of the Singing Voice Handicap Index

Seth M Cohen, Barbara H Jacobson, C Gaelyn Garrett, J Pieter Noordzij, Michael G Stewart, Albert Attia, Robert H Ossoff, Thomas F Cleveland
Annals of Otology, Rhinology, and Laryngology 2007, 116 (6): 402-6

OBJECTIVES: We developed and validated a disorder-specific health status instrument (Singing Voice Handicap Index; SVHI) for use in patients with singing problems.

METHODS: Prospective instrument validation was performed. Of 81 original items, those with poor statistical validity were eliminated, resulting in 36 items. The ability to discriminate dysphonic from normal singers, test-retest reliability, internal consistency, and construct validity were assessed.

RESULTS: We included 112 dysphonic and 129 normal singers, professional and nonprofessional, of classical, country, rock, choral, and gospel repertoire. Dysphonic singers had worse SVHI scores than normal singers (p < or = .001, rank sum test). Test-retest reliability was high (Spearman correlation, 0.92; p < or = .001). Internal consistency demonstrated a Cronbach's alpha of .97, and the correlation between the SVHI and self-rated singing voice impairment was .63 (p < or = .001, Spearman correlation).

CONCLUSIONS: The SVHI is a reliable and valid tool for assessing self-perceived handicap associated with singing problems.

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