Correlation between the Voice Handicap Index and voice laboratory measurements after phonosurgery

March 31, 2010
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Abstract

Phonosurgery is an effective treatment for some vocal fold pathologies, and the Voice Handicap Index (VHI) survey has been shown to be a useful instrument for evaluating treatment effectiveness. We conducted a nonrandomized, prospective study of 21 patients who underwent phonosurgery for the treatment of non-neoplastic vocal fold lesions at our academic tertiary-care referral center. Our goals were to compare pre- and postoperative VHI scores (subjective assessments) and pre- and postoperative results of acoustic and aerodynamic tests (objective assessments). We sought to determine if there was any correlation between the subjective and objective findings. We looked for differences between professional voice users (n = 10) and nonprofessional voice users (n = 11) in both subjective and objective measures. We found statistically significant differences between pre- and postoperative values in three of four VHI parameters, but in only one of 13 objective measures. There was no correlation between preoperative VHI scores and preoperative acoustic and aerodynamic test results. The professional voice users expressed greater postoperative improvement as reflected by lower VHI scores than did the nonprofessional voice users, confirming that the former are more negatively affected by a voice disability.

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