Research Article| Volume 37, ISSUE 3, P390-397, May 2023

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Examining Relationships Between GRBAS Ratings and Acoustic, Aerodynamic and Patient-Reported Voice Measures in Adults With Voice Disorders

  • Robert Brinton Fujiki
    Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin Madison, Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research (WIMR) BLDG. 1485, Madison, Wisconsin
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  • Susan L. Thibeault
    Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Susan L. Thibeault, 5103 WIMR, 1111 Highland Ave, Madison, WI 53726.
    Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin Madison, Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research (WIMR) BLDG. 1485, Madison, Wisconsin
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      To determine if auditory-perceptual voice ratings performed using the GRBAS scale correlate with acoustic and aerodynamic measures of voice. A secondary aim was to examine the relationship between GRBAS ratings and patient-reported quality of life scales.


      GRBAS ratings, acoustic, aerodynamic and patient-reported quality of life ratings were collected from the University of Wisconsin Madison Voice and Swallow Outcomes Database for 508 adults with voice disorders. Acoustic measures included noise to harmonic ratio, jitter%, shimmer%, highest fundamental frequency (F0) of vocal range, lowest F0 of vocal range, maximum phonation time and dysphonia severity index. Aerodynamic measures included phonation threshold pressure, subglottal pressure, mean transglottal airflow and laryngeal airway resistance. Patient-reported quality of life measures included the Vocal Handicap Index (VHI) and Glottal Function Index (GFI).


      GRBAS ratings were significantly correlated with several acoustic and aerodynamic measures, VHI and GFI. The strongest significant correlations for acoustic measures were observed between GRBAS ratings of overall voice quality and perturbation measures (jitter% r = 0.58, shimmer% r = 0.45, noise to harmonic ratio r = 0.36, Dysphonia Severity Index r = -0.56). The strongest significant correlation for aerodynamic voice measures was observed between GRBAS ratings of breathiness and transglottal airflow (r = 0.23), subglottal pressure (r = 0.49), and phonation threshold pressure (r = 0.26). GRBAS ratings were also significantly correlated with both VHI and the GFI scales. R values were higher for the VHI, but remained largely in low range for both scales.


      Although GRBAS ratings were significantly correlated with multiple objective voice and patient related quality of life ratings, r values were low. These findings support the need for multiple voice measures when performing voice evaluations as no single voice measure was highly correlated with voice quality as measured by the GRBAS scale.


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