Development and validation of the Singing Voice Handicap-10

Seth M Cohen, Melissa Statham, Clark A Rosen, Thomas Zullo
Laryngoscope 2009, 119 (9): 1864-9

OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: To develop a shortened version of the validated health status instrument for singers, the Singing Voice Handicap Index (SVHI).

STUDY DESIGN: Prospective item analysis of the SVHI in patients with singing voice problems and creation and validation of an abbreviated SVHI, the SVHI-10.

METHODS: Patients presenting to two tertiary care voice clinics prospectively completed the SVHI. Principal component analysis was performed. Individual item to total correlations were calculated, and individual items were also evaluated for bipolar response patterns. A clinical consensus conference prioritized each individual item. Items were then eliminated, and the internal consistency was evaluated. A second cohort of patients with singing voice problems completed the Voice Handicap Index-10 (VHI-10) and SVHI-10 at two time points. Singers without voice problems also completed the SVHI-10. SVHI-10 scores were compared between the groups, correlations between the SVHI-10 and VHI-10 were performed, and test-retest reliability of the SVHI-10 assessed.

RESULTS: Singers with voice problems had worse SVHI-10 scores than normal singers (P < .0001, t test). Test-retest reliability was high (Spearman correlation = 0.86, P < .001). Internal consistency of the SVHI-10 demonstrated a Cronbach alpha of .94, and the correlation between the SVHI-10 and VHI-10 was 0.7 (P < .001, Spearman correlation).

CONCLUSIONS: The SVHI-10 is a valuable instrument to assess self-perceived handicap associated with singing voice problems with reduced patient burden.

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