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Symptoms and Vocal Risk Factors in Individuals with High and Low Anxiety

Vanessa Evellin Fernandes Isidro Gomes, Denise da Costa Batista, Leonardo Wanderley Lopes, Raynero Aquino, Anna Alice Almeida
Folia Phoniatrica et Logopaedica 2018 November 27, 71 (1): 7-15

AIMS: To assess the frequency of vocal symptoms and risk factors in individuals with high and low anxiety and to investigate the relationships among vocal symptoms, risk factors, and anxiety levels.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 201 patients of both sexes with a mean age of 42.88 years (SD = 15.78) served as participants. The patients were divided into two groups according to the level of trait anxiety: a low-anxiety group (n = 108) and a high-anxiety group (HAG, n = 93). Data were collected using three self-assessment instruments: the Vocal Screening Protocol, the Voice Symptom Scale (VoiSS), and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI).

RESULTS: The HAG presented higher scores in all VoiSS domains. There were positive correlations between the total and emotional scores on the VoiSS and the STAI Trait subscale. There were significant associations between 13 vocal risk factors and anxiety levels.

CONCLUSION: Individuals with high anxiety present a higher frequency of vocal symptoms related to either vocal limitation, physical aspects, or the emotional impact of dysphonia. The higher the trait anxiety, the greater the total and emotional scores on the VoiSS. Anxiety levels are associated with certain vocal risk factors.


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