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Longitudinal variations of laryngeal overpressure and voice-related quality of life in spasmodic dysphonia

Jeffrey C Yeung, Kevin Fung, Eric Davis, Sunita K Rai, Adam M B Day, Agnieszka Dzioba, Catherine Bornbaum, Philip C Doyle
Laryngoscope 2015, 125 (3): 661-6
25290557

OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: Adductor spasmodic dysphonia (AdSD) is a voice disorder characterized by variable symptom severity and voice disability. Those with the disorder experience a wide spectrum of symptom severity over time, resulting in varied degrees of perceived voice disability. This study investigated the longitudinal variability of AdSD, with a focus on auditory-perceptual judgments of a dimension termed laryngeal overpressure (LO) and patient self-assessments of voice-related quality of life (V-RQOL).

STUDY DESIGN: Longitudinal, correlational study.

METHODS: Ten adults with AdSD were followed over three time periods. At each, both voice samples and self-ratings of V-RQOL were gathered prior to their scheduled Botox injection. Voice recordings subsequently were perceptually evaluated by eight listeners for LO using a visual analog scale.

RESULTS: LO ratings for all-voiced and Rainbow Passage sentence stimuli were found to be highly correlated. However, only the LO ratings obtained from judgments of AV stimuli were found to correlate moderately with self-ratings of voice disability for both the physical functioning and social-emotional subscores, as well as the total V-RQOL score. Based on perceptual judgments, LO appears to provide a reliable means of quantifying the severity of voice abnormalities in AdSD.

CONCLUSIONS: Variability in self-ratings of the V-RQOL suggest that perceived disability related to AdSD should be actively monitored. Further, auditory-perceptual judgments may provide an accurate index of the potential impact of the disorder on the speaker. Similarly, LO was supported as a simple clinical measure that serves as a reliable index of voice change over time.

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