Symptom relief and health-related quality of life in globus patients: a prospective study

Logoped Phoniatr Vocol. 2019 Jul;44(2):67-72. doi: 10.1080/14015439.2017.1397741. Epub 2017 Nov 9.


Globus may be a persistent symptom impairing patients' quality of life. Diagnostics and treatment are controversial but some globus patients may benefit from reassurance and attention. We investigated how globus symptoms change during a short-term follow-up without any treatment after an examination by an ear, nose and throat (ENT) physician and further diagnostic procedures. We also surveyed whether patients with persistent globus suffer from simultaneous voice problems. The study comprised 30 consecutive globus patients referred to Helsinki University Hospital, Department of Otorhinolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. We performed an ENT examination and scored patients' videolaryngostroboscopies using the Reflux Finding Score (RFS). Patients filled in three questionnaires: the Reflux Symptom Index (RSI), the Deglutition Handicap Index (DHI) and the 15-Dimensional Measure of Health-Related Quality of Life (15-D HRQoL). Patients underwent transnasal esophagoscopy, high-resolution manometry, and 24-hour multichannel intraluminal impedance and pH monitoring. After a four-month follow-up, patients re-answered the same questionnaires and a speech and language pathologist (SLP) examined the patients. Baseline and follow-up questionnaires were available from 27 (90%) patients. According to the RSI (p = .001) and the DHI (p = .003), patients' symptoms diminished after four months. The 15-D showed improvement in one subscale measuring discomfort and symptoms (p = .023). The SLP examined 23 (77%) patients, finding functional voice problems in six (26%). The study showed that most globus patients felt their symptoms diminished without any treatment during four months. In some patients, coexisting voice problems may be associated with persistent globus.

Keywords: Follow-up; globus; quality of life; voice problems.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Globus Sensation / complications*
  • Globus Sensation / diagnosis
  • Globus Sensation / physiopathology
  • Globus Sensation / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Speech-Language Pathology / methods
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Voice Disorders / diagnosis
  • Voice Disorders / etiology*
  • Voice Disorders / physiopathology
  • Voice Disorders / psychology
  • Voice Quality*
  • Young Adult