Relationship between voice handicap index and reflux symptom index in patients with laryngopharyngeal reflux with dysphonia: A cross-sectional study
Keywords:Dysphonia, Laryngopharyngeal reflux, Reflux symptom index, Voice handicap index
Background/Aim: Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LFR) occurs due to the backward traveling of gastric contents through the esophagus, resulting in their contact with the upper respiratory tract and laryngopharynx. It has been determined that more than 50% of patients presenting with voice hoarseness may have a pathology associated with such reflux. Symptoms including hoarseness, difficulty in making high-pitched sounds, and a tired and cracked voice may occur due to changes in the vocal cord mucosa induced by the reflux. The present study investigated the relationship between the Reflux Symptom Index (RSI) and Voice Handicap Index-10 (VHI-10) evaluations of patients with significant findings for LFR. Methods: Patients with an RSI score of 13 and above and RFS of 7 and above, considered significant for LFR, and patients aged between 18 and 65 years, who met the mandatory requirements, were included in the study. The patients included in the study were divided into three groups, mildly impaired (MII), moderately impaired (MOI), and severely impaired (SEI) based on their response to the question, “How do you feel about your voice?’’ VHI-10 was also applied to the patients included in the study. The RSI and VHI-10 scores of the patients were separately recorded and compared using various parameters. Results: Of the 38 patients included in the study, 18 (47.4%) were female and 20 (52.6%) were male. It was observed that RSI and VHI-10 scores increased significantly as the patients' level of voice disorder increased (P<0.001, P<0.001). A statistically significant positive correlation was found between the RSI and VHI-10 scores of the patients (r=0.749, P<0.001). Conclusion: The high level of significant positive correlation between VHI-10 and RSI scores suggested that VHI-10 could serve as a valuable supportive tool in the evaluation of dysphonia in patients with LFR. RSI and VHI-10 can further play an important role in the initiation of appropriate treatment on diagnosis of LFR.
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