Correlation of VHI-10 to Voice Laboratory Measurements Across Five Common Voice Disorders

  • Amanda I. Gillespie
    Address correspondence and reprint requests to Amanda I. Gillespie, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Pittsburgh Voice Center, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Mercy, 1400 Locust Street, Suite 11-500, Building B, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.
    Department of Otolaryngology, University of Pittsburgh Voice Center, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Mercy, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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  • William Gooding
    Biostatistics Facility, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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  • Clark Rosen
    Department of Otolaryngology, University of Pittsburgh Voice Center, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Mercy, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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  • Jackie Gartner-Schmidt
    Department of Otolaryngology, University of Pittsburgh Voice Center, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Mercy, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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      To correlate change in Voice Handicap Index (VHI)-10 scores with corresponding voice laboratory measures across five voice disorders.

      Study Design

      Retrospective study.


      One hundred fifty patients aged >18 years with primary diagnosis of vocal fold lesions, primary muscle tension dysphonia-1, atrophy, unilateral vocal fold paralysis (UVFP), and scar. For each group, participants with the largest change in VHI-10 between two periods (TA and TB) were selected. The dates of the VHI-10 values were linked to corresponding acoustic/aerodynamic and audio-perceptual measures. Change in voice laboratory values were analyzed for correlation with each other and with VHI-10.


      VHI-10 scores were greater for patients with UVFP than other disorders. The only disorder-specific correlation between voice laboratory measure and VHI-10 was average phonatory airflow in speech for patients with UVFP. Average airflow in repeated phonemes was strongly correlated with average airflow in speech (r = 0.75). Acoustic measures did not significantly change between time points.


      The lack of correlations between the VHI-10 change scores and voice laboratory measures may be due to differing constructs of each measure; namely, handicap versus physiological function. Presuming corroboration between these measures may be faulty. Average airflow in speech may be the most ecologically valid measure for patients with UVFP. Although aerodynamic measures changed between the time points, acoustic measures did not. Correlations to VHI-10 and change between time points may be found with other acoustic measures.

      Key Words

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