Research Article|Articles in Press

Long-Term Voice Change in Presbylarynges Patients With and Without Intervention

  • Sheila V. Stager
    Address correspondence and reprint requests to Sheila V. Stager, Voice Treatment Center, Department of Surgery, Division of Otolaryngology, The George Washington University School of Medicine, 2300 M Street N.W., Room 418, Washington, DC 20037
    Voice Treatment Center, Department of Surgery, Division of Otolaryngology, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC 20037
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  • Steven A. Bielamowicz
    Voice Treatment Center, Department of Surgery, Division of Otolaryngology, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC 20037
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      To explore long-term patient experience of treated and untreated presbylarynges patients two or more years after their previous clinic visit by their responses to a probe about the changes in voice (better, stable, or worse) and standardized rating scales either by phone or from clinic records. Congruences of rating differences between visits and probe responses were assessed.


      Thirty-seven participated prospectively and seven retrospectively. Better, stable, or worse probe responses and treatment follow-through were obtained. Self-rating scales, completed verbally or obtained from charts, were compared to the previous visit so differences between visits could be converted to be congruent with probe responses.


      After a mean of 4.6 years, 44% (63% untreated) reported stable, 36% (38% untreated) worse, and 20% (89% untreated) better. Significantly greater proportions of untreated reported better/stable probe responses while treated reported worse (χ2; P = 0.038). Significantly better means for all ratings were found at follow-up for those with better probe responses, but mean ratings were not significantly worse for those with worse probe response. No significant congruences of rating differences between visits and probe responses were found. In untreated reporting stable probe response, a significantly greater proportion of those with previous clinic ratings within normal limits (WNL) maintained ratings WNL at follow-up (z-statistic; P = 0.0007).


      Ratings WNL at the initial evaluation, especially voice-related quality of life and effort, were found to still be WNL after several years. Little congruence was found between rating differences and probe responses, especially for worse, suggesting need for developing more sensitive rating scales.

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