Correlation between acoustic-perceptual data and voice-related quality of life in elderly women

Ana Cristina Côrtes Gama, Cláudia Fernanda Tolentino Alves, Janaína da Silva Berto Cerceau, Letícia Caldas Teixeira
Pró-fono: Revista de Atualização Científica 2009, 21 (2): 125-30

BACKGROUND: vocal quality and voice-related quality of life in elderly women

AIM: to assess the vocal quality and voice-related quality of life in elderly women, as well as verify if the presence of dysphonia has an influence on the life quality of these women.

METHODS: one hundred and three elderly women, with ages ranging from 60 to 103 years, were recruited. The V-RQOL was answered by the participants and their voices were registered and analyzed perceptually by five experienced speech pathologists, using the GRBASI scale. After the intra-rater reliability analysis, three speech pathologists were selected with whom a single GRBASI scale was built for each of the participant's voice. Later, this single assessment was compared to the physical, socio-emotional and total V-RQOL scores.

RESULTS: most of the elderly women presented V-RQOL total scores between 70 and 100. They also presented a mild to moderate vocal disorder in the overall scores related to dysphonia, roughness, breathiness and instability in the GRBASI scale and did not present scores related to asthenia or strain. The G, R, B and I parameters of the GRBASI scale were statistically correlated to the physical and total V-RQOL scores.

CONCLUSIONS: although most of the elderly women presented some level of dysphonia, the vocal disorders did not have an influence on their life quality. However, the physical and total V-RQOL scores were correlated to dysphonia severity, indicating that the more sever the dysphonia, the lower the voice-related quality of life.

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