Throat related symptoms and voice: development of an instrument for self assessment of throat-problems

Viveka Lyberg Åhlander, Roland Rydell, Jacqueline Eriksson, Lucyna Schalén

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskriftPeer review

15 Citeringar (SciVal)


BACKGROUND: Symptoms from throat (sensation of globus; frequent throat clearing; irritated throat) are common in patients referred to voice clinics and to ENT specialists. The relation to symptoms of voice discomfort is unclear and in some cases patients do not have voice problems at all. Instruments for patients' self-reporting of symptoms, and assessment of handicap, such as the Voice Handicap Index (VHI), are in common use in voice clinics. Symptoms from throat are however only marginally covered.

PURPOSE: To develop and evaluate an instrument that could make the patients' estimation of symptoms from the throat possible. Further to facilitate the consideration of the relation between throat- and voice problems with the Throat subscale together with a Swedish translation of the Voice Handicap Index. Finally to try the VHI with the Throat subscale: the VHI-T, for test-retest reliability and validity.

METHODS: A subscale with 10 throat related items was developed for appliance with the VHI. The VHI was translated to Swedish and retranslated to English. The questionnaire was tried in two phases on a total of 23+144 patients and 12+58 voice healthy controls. The reliability was calculated with Cronbach's alpha, ICC and Pearson's correlation coefficient. The validity was estimated by independent T-test.

RESULTS: The difference in VHI-T scores between the patients and the voice-healthy controls was significant (p = < 0,01) and there was a good correlation of the test- retest occasions. The reliability testing of the entire questionnaire showed an alpha value of r = 0,90 and that for the Throat subscale separately a value of r = 0,87 which shows a high degree of reliability.

CONCLUSIONS: For the estimation of self-perceived throat and voice problems the scale on throat related problems together with the present Swedish translation of the Voice Handicap Index, (VHI) the VHI-Throat, proves to be a valid and reliable instrument. The throat subscale seems to help revealing a category of symptoms that are common in our patients. These are symptoms that have not earlier been possible to cover with the questionnaires designed for use in the voice clinic.

TidskriftBMC Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders
StatusPublished - 2010 maj 27

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Oto-rino-laryngologi


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