Objectives/hypothesis: Adductor spasmodic dysphonia (AdSD) is a voice disorder characterized by variable symptom severity and voice disability. Those with the disorder experience a wide spectrum of symptom severity over time, resulting in varied degrees of perceived voice disability. This study investigated the longitudinal variability of AdSD, with a focus on auditory-perceptual judgments of a dimension termed laryngeal overpressure (LO) and patient self-assessments of voice-related quality of life (V-RQOL).
Study design: Longitudinal, correlational study.
Methods: Ten adults with AdSD were followed over three time periods. At each, both voice samples and self-ratings of V-RQOL were gathered prior to their scheduled Botox injection. Voice recordings subsequently were perceptually evaluated by eight listeners for LO using a visual analog scale.
Results: LO ratings for all-voiced and Rainbow Passage sentence stimuli were found to be highly correlated. However, only the LO ratings obtained from judgments of AV stimuli were found to correlate moderately with self-ratings of voice disability for both the physical functioning and social-emotional subscores, as well as the total V-RQOL score. Based on perceptual judgments, LO appears to provide a reliable means of quantifying the severity of voice abnormalities in AdSD.
Conclusions: Variability in self-ratings of the V-RQOL suggest that perceived disability related to AdSD should be actively monitored. Further, auditory-perceptual judgments may provide an accurate index of the potential impact of the disorder on the speaker. Similarly, LO was supported as a simple clinical measure that serves as a reliable index of voice change over time.
Keywords: laryngeal overpressure; laryngology; spasmodic dysphonia; voice-related quality of life; voice/dysphonia.
© 2014 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.