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Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2015 Sep;124(9):721-7. doi: 10.1177/0003489415579911. Epub 2015 Apr 3.

The Quality of Life Burden Associated With Voice Disorders in Sjögren's Syndrome.

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Department of Communication Disorders, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, USA
Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders, The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.
Department of Health Science, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, USA.
Division of Rheumatology, The University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.
Division of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery, The University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.



This study examined quality of life burden of voice disorders in Sjögren's syndrome (SS).


Patients with SS (n = 101) completed interviews involving patient-reported histories of voice disorders, specific voice symptoms, SS disease severity, the Voice-Related Quality of Life (V-RQOL), and the general health-related quality of life Short Form 36 (SF-36) questionnaires. Relationships among voice symptoms, disease severity, and quality-of-life measures were examined and compared with patient-reported voice disorders.


Significant correlations were observed among voice symptoms, disease severity, V-RQOL, SF-36, and patient-reported voice disorders (P < .05). Patients with SS who reported a voice disorder experienced a greater burden on general quality of life as compared with those without voice disorders. Specific voice symptoms significantly correlated with reduced SF-36 scores included frequent throat-clearing, throat soreness, difficulty projecting, and vocal discomfort. Despite the added burden of a voice disorder on quality of life in SS, voice-related treatment seeking was low (15.8%). However, the majority of patients who received voice treatment reported voice improvement.


Individuals with SS frequently experience voice disorders and specific voice-related symptoms that are associated with reduced quality of life. These findings have important implications for voice referral practices and voice disorder symptom management in this population.


SF-36; Sjögren’s syndrome; V-RQOL; autoimmune disease; voice disorders

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