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J Voice. 2005 Mar;19(1):132-7.

Quality of life in dysphonic patients.

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Department of Phoniatrics and Pedaudiology, Erlangen University Hospital, Erlangen, Germany.


Voice disorders can affect social life. Dysphonic patients report symptoms of psychological distress as a direct consequence of their dysphonia. It is assumed that their health-related quality of life (HRQL) is reduced. The purpose of this study was to find out whether changes of HRQL depend on the kind of voice disorder (organic or functional) and on the sex of the person affected. A total of 108 adult patients took part in the study, and patients with malignancies were excluded. Test persons were asked to complete the SF-36 questionnaire on their health-related quality of life without prior information about their individual diagnosis. The results of this study show that voice disorders significantly influence patients' HRQL. There are no statistically significant differences between patients suffering from organic and functional voice disorders or between dysphonic women and men. When comparing the results obtained in this study with those in the literature, surprisingly, it seems that the manner in which a person experiences a voice disorder depends on the individual cultural background. Patients with functional voice disorders have similar reduction in HRQL as those with organic voice disorders. HRQL in dysphonic women does not differ from the one in dysphonic men. The results allow for the conclusion that changes of HRQL do not depend on the kind of voice disorder and not on the sex of the person affected.

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