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Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2013 Aug;122(8):511-9.

Voice symptoms and voice-related quality of life in college students.

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  • 1Department of Health Science, Brigham Young University, 229 A Richards Building, Provo, UT 84602, USA.



The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of voice disorders in college students and their effect on the students as shown by quality-of-life indicators.


A cross-sectional survey was completed by 545 college students in 2012. The survey included 10 questions from the Voice-Related Quality of Life (V-RQOL), selected voice symptoms, and quality-of-life indicators of functional health and well-being based on the Short Form 36-item Health Survey (SF-36).


Twenty-nine percent of the college students (mean age, 22.7 years) reported a history of a voice disorder. Hoarseness was the most prevalent voice symptom, but was not correlated with V-RQOL scores. A wobbly or shaky voice, throat dryness, vocal fatigue, and vocal effort explained a significant amount of variance on the social-emotional and physical domains of the V-RQOL index (p < 0.05). Voice symptoms limited emotional and physical functioning as indicated by SF-36 scores.


Voice disorders significantly influence psychosocial and physical functioning in college students. These findings have important implications for voice-care services in this population.

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