[Comparison of VHI scores in teachers with voice disorders and the non-professional dysphonic population]

Anna Kuzańska, Ewa Niebudek-Bogusz, Ewelina Woźnicka, Jerzy Kopczyńska, Mariola Sliwińska-Kowalska
Medycyna Pracy 2009, 60 (4): 283-8

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to assess the application of Voice Handicap Index (VHI) in the diagnosis of occupational voice disorders in teachers as compared with the dysphonic non-teachers population.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The subjective assessment of voice by VHI was performed in 105 teachers with dysphonia and 60 dysphonic subjects whose jobs did not involve vocal effort. The control group comprised 65 healthy individuals with normal voice.

RESULTS: The results of total VHI score and each of its subscales, functional, emotional and physical, were significantly worse in the study groups (I and II) than in the control group (p < 0.001). The analysis of VHI-score distribution showed that the highest percentage of subjects in groups I and II self-assessed their own voice problems as moderate disability (67% and 57%), while 20% of teachers and 16% of non-teachers reported severe voice disability. All individuals in the control group assessed their voice problems as minor, their results fell within the range of the lowest level of VHI score.

CONCLUSIONS: This study confirmed that VHI as a tool for self-assessment of voice can significantly contribute to the diagnosis of occupational and non-occupational dysphonia.

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