Prevalence and Severity of Dysphonia in Patients with Cystic Fibrosis: A Pilot Study

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2015 Jul;153(1):88-93. doi: 10.1177/0194599815581832. Epub 2015 Apr 27.


Objective: To assess the prevalence and severity of dysphonia in patients with cystic fibrosis sinusitis. We hypothesized that patients with CF sinusitis, compared with 2 control groups, would have higher self-reported prevalence of dysphonia and greater severity of dysphonia, according to patient-reported outcome measures as well as auditory-perceptual evaluation by expert listeners.

Study design: Cross-sectional comparative pilot study.

Setting: Academic tertiary care clinic.

Study participants and methods: Analysis included 37 study participants: 17 patients with CF sinusitis, 10 healthy individuals, and 10 patients with non-CF sinusitis. All participants completed the 10-item Voice Handicap Index (VHI-10) questionnaire and provided voice samples. On all samples, 6 blinded speech-language pathologists independently performed auditory-perceptual evaluation, using Consensus Auditory-Perceptual Evaluation of Voice. To assess severity of sinonasal symptoms, we used the 20-item Sinonasal Outcome Test (SNOT-20). Standard parametric and nonparametric statistical analysis was performed.

Results: The differences between the 3 groups in prevalence of abnormal VHI-10 scores were not statistically significant. SNOT-20 scores were similar in the 2 sinusitis patient groups. VHI-10 scores were highest in patients with CF sinusitis, intermediate in patients with non-CF sinusitis, and lowest in healthy individuals (P = .005). Auditory-perceptual evaluation demonstrated greater overall severity of dysphonia in patients with CF sinusitis compared with the 2 control groups (P = .0005).

Conclusions: Cystic fibrosis sinusitis appeared to be associated with worse vocal function as measured by patient self-report as well as auditory-perceptual evaluation of voice compared with patients with non-CF sinusitis and healthy controls. Further investigation in this area is warranted.

Keywords: auditory-perceptual; chronic sinusitis; cystic fibrosis; dysphonia; sinusitis; voice handicap.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications*
  • Dysphonia / diagnosis
  • Dysphonia / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prevalence
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sinusitis / complications*
  • Speech Intelligibility
  • Speech Production Measurement
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult