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

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


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

Methods: 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.

Results: 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.

Conclusions: 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.

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

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cost of Illness*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / complications*
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Voice Disorders* / etiology
  • Voice Disorders* / physiopathology
  • Voice Disorders* / psychology
  • Voice Disorders* / therapy
  • Voice Quality
  • Voice Training*