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, 18 (3), e350-e354

Association Between Voice Handicap Index and Reflux Symptom Index: A Cross-Sectional Study of Undiagnosed General and Teacher Cohorts in Saudi Arabia

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Association Between Voice Handicap Index and Reflux Symptom Index: A Cross-Sectional Study of Undiagnosed General and Teacher Cohorts in Saudi Arabia

Rawan Alanazi et al. Sultan Qaboos Univ Med J.

Abstract

Objectives: This study aimed to assess potential associations between self-reported symptoms of laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) and voice disorders among two undiagnosed cohorts in Saudi Arabia.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted from February to April 2017 in Khobar, Saudi Arabia. Validated Arabic versions of the Reflux Symptom Index (RSI) and 10-item Voice Handicap Index (VHI-10) were distributed to 400 teachers at 13 schools and 300 members of the general population attending an ear, nose and throat clinic in Khobar. Scores of >13 and >11 on the RSI and VHI-10 indicated a potential subjective diagnosis of LPR and voice disorders, respectively.

Results: A total of 446 individuals took part in the study, including 260 members of the general population (response rate: 86.7%) and 186 teachers (response rate: 46.5%). The mean age was 32.5 years. In total, 62.2% complained of voice and/or reflux problems, with the remaining 37.8% not reporting/unaware of any problems in this regard. Among the teachers, 30.6% and 18.3% had positive RSI and VHI-10 scores, respectively, while 43.1% and 14.6% of the individuals from the general population had positive RSI and VHI-10 scores, respectively. Overall, VHI-10 scores were significantly associated with RSI scores (P <0.001).

Conclusion: A significant association between RSI and VHI-10 scores suggests that there may be an association between LPR and voice disorders. These tools would therefore be a valuable method of monitoring patients; however, they cannot be used to confirm a diagnosis. Thus, more detailed studies are needed to confirm this association using a larger sample size.

Keywords: Diagnostic Self Evaluation; Hoarseness; Laryngopharyngeal Reflux; Saudi Arabia; School Teachers; Voice Disorders.

Conflict of interest statement

CONFLICT OF INTEREST The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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