Background and objectives: The Voice Handicap Index (VHI) is a widely recognized, self-administered questionnaire, designed to evaluate patients' perception of voice-related disability. It takes into consideration the physical, functional and emotional impacts of dysphonia. The VHI has been translated and validated in many languages, including European French. The purpose of our study is to translate, adapt and validate a new version of the VHI in Quebec French.
Methods: The original VHI was translated into Quebec French (QF) by forward and backward translations by four professional translators, including a speech-language pathologist. The content validity of the resulting VHI-QF was examined in focus groups with six patients and seven speech-language pathologists. Another sample of 154 patients with voice disorders and 150 healthy controls allowed evaluation of the new questionnaire's convergent and discriminant validity, and internal consistency. Satisfaction toward the questionnaire was also evaluated for all patients, as well Test-retest reliability and responsiveness for a sub-sample.
Results: The VHI-QF showed a moderate correlation with dysphonia severity level, indicating adequate convergent validity. Both total and subscale scores also exhibited adequate ability to discriminate between patients and controls (discriminant validity), high internal consistency, and good test-retest reliability. The analysis of pre- and post-treatment VHI-QF scores revealed adequate responsiveness to voice treatment. Patients were overall satisfied with the questionnaire.
Conclusion: The VHI-QF is a valid, reliable and clinically useful self-reported tool to evaluate the severity and change of voice disorders in Quebec French population. Therefore this questionnaire can be used in clinical and research contexts.
Keywords: Dysphonia; French; Handicap; Normal voice; Voice Handicap Index.
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