Rater Methodology for Stroboscopy: A Systematic Review

  • Heather Shaw Bonilha
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence and reprint requests to Heather Shaw Bonilha, Department of Health Science and Research, Medical University of South Carolina, 77 President St, Charleston, SC 29425.
    Affiliations
    Department of Health Science and Research, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina

    Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
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  • Kendrea L. Focht
    Affiliations
    Department of Health Science and Research, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
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  • Bonnie Martin-Harris
    Affiliations
    Department of Health Science and Research, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina

    Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
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Published:September 25, 2014DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvoice.2014.06.014

      Summary

      Objectives

      Laryngeal endoscopy with stroboscopy (LES) remains the clinical gold standard for assessing vocal fold function. LES is used to evaluate the efficacy of voice treatments in research studies and clinical practice. LES as a voice treatment outcome tool is only as good as the clinician interpreting the recordings. Research using LES as a treatment outcome measure should be evaluated based on rater methodology and reliability. The purpose of this literature review was to evaluate the rater-related methodology from studies that use stroboscopic findings as voice treatment outcome measures.

      Study Design

      Systematic literature review.

      Methods

      Computerized journal databases were searched for relevant articles using terms: stroboscopy and treatment. Eligible articles were categorized and evaluated for the use of rater-related methodology, reporting of number of raters, types of raters, blinding, and rater reliability.

      Results

      Of the 738 articles reviewed, 80 articles met inclusion criteria. More than one-third of the studies included in the review did not report the number of raters who participated in the study. Eleven studies reported results of rater reliability analysis with only two studies reporting good inter- and intrarater reliability.

      Conclusion

      The comparability and use of results from treatment studies that use LES are limited by a lack of rigor in rater methodology and variable, mostly poor, inter- and intrarater reliability. To improve our ability to evaluate and use the findings from voice treatment studies that use LES features as outcome measures, greater consistency of reporting rater methodology characteristics across studies and improved rater reliability is needed.

      Key Words

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