The frequency of perceived stress, anxiety, and depression in patients with common pathologies affecting voice

J Voice. 2008 Jul;22(4):472-88. doi: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2006.08.007. Epub 2008 Apr 18.


The study's objectives were to investigate (1) the frequency of perceived stress, anxiety, and depression for patients with common voice disorders, (2) the distribution of these variables by diagnosis, and (3) the distribution of the variables by gender. Retrospective data were derived from self-report questionnaires assessing recent stress (Perceived Stress Scale-10), anxiety, and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) in a cohort of new patients presenting to a voice clinic. Data are presented on 160 patients with muscle tension dysphonia (MTD), benign vocal fold lesions, paradoxical vocal fold movement disorder (PVFMD), or glottal insufficiency. Pooled data indicated that average stress, anxiety, and depression scores were similar to those found for the healthy population. However, 25.0%, 36.9%, and 31.2% of patients showed elevated stress, anxiety, and depression scores, respectively, compared to norms. Patients with PVFMD had the most frequent occurrence-and patients with glottal insufficiency had the least frequent occurrence of elevated stress, anxiety, and depression. Stress and depression were more common with MTD than with lesions, whereas reverse results were obtained for anxiety. More females than males had elevated stress, anxiety, and depression scores. The data are consistent with suggestions that stress, anxiety, and depression may be common among some patients with PVFMD, MTD, and vocal fold lesions and more common for women than men. However, individual variability in the data set was large. Further studies should evaluate the specific role of these conditions for selected categories of voice disorders in susceptible individuals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology*
  • Attitude*
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Tonus / physiology
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vocal Cords / physiopathology
  • Voice Disorders / diagnosis
  • Voice Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Voice Disorders / physiopathology*