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The Korean Version of the Voice Symptom Scale for Patients with Thyroid Operation, and Its Use in a Validation and Reliability Study

Hee Young Son, Chang-Yoon Lee, Kyung A Kim, Sina Kim, Hee Seok Jeong, Jin Pyeong Kim
Journal of Voice: Official Journal of the Voice Foundation 2018, 32 (3): 367-373

OBJECTIVES: The Voice Symptom Scale (VoiSS) questionnaire is a self-reported measure of voice function. Compared with previous voice-rating tools, the VoiSS focuses more on communication difficulties, pharyngeal symptoms, and psychosocial distress. This study aimed to translate the VoiSS into the Korean language, validate it, and assess its reliability.

STUDY DESIGN: This is a prospective patient study utilizing questionnaires and acoustic analysis.

METHODS: A recognized methodology was used to translate the questionnaires. The final Korean version was used in 31 patients scheduled for thyroidectomy between November 2013 and February 2015 for preoperative voice assessment, and at 2 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months postoperatively. The participants included had no specific vocal disorders before surgery and no vocal cord paralysis after surgery, and completed the Korean versions of the VoiSS and Voice Handicap Index (VHI), and acoustic analysis.

RESULTS: The Korean version of the VoiSS demonstrated high internal consistency (α = 0.97) and test-retest reliability of its subscales. There was a significant correlation between the VoiSS and VHI scores in the total thyroidectomy group at each time-point. With regard to subjective symptoms, the VoiSS appeared to be more accurate than the VHI in terms of physical and functional subscales.

CONCLUSIONS: The Korean version of the VoiSS is ready for use for the assessment of voice dysfunction in Korean patients. It is an applicable and useful supplementary tool for evaluating patients' perceptions of voice dysfunction after thyroidectomy, for identifying multiple factors affecting patients' voices, and for measuring treatment efficacy before and after therapeutic intervention.


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