The Norwegian Voice Handicap Index (VHI-N) patient scores are dependent on voice-related disease group


The aim of this study is to determine to what extent the Voice Handicap Index-Norwegian (VHI-N) is scored depending on specific laryngological disease. In a multi-center study, 126 healthy subjects and 355 patients with different voice-related diseases answered the VHI-N. The VHI-N scores showed high Cronbach’s alpha. Analyses of variance were performed with VHI-N dependent and specific voice-related disease as independent variable, and showed highly significant dependence by group allocation (F 7,461 = 28.0; p < 0.001). When studying post hoc analyses secondary to this ANOVA analysis, we have shown that the control group scored lower than the entire patient groups (all p < 0.001) except the dysplasia group. Aphonic patients scored higher than all the other groups (all p < 0.001) except those with spasmodic dysphonia. The cancer patient group furthermore scored lower than patient groups with recurrent palsy, dysfunctional disease or spasmodic dysphonia (all p < 0.001). In addition, patients with recurrent palsy scored higher than patients with degenerative/inflammatory disease (p < 0.001). No influences of patient age, gender, or smoking were observed in the VHI-N scores. The VHI-N is a psychometrically well-functioning instrument, also at disease-specific levels and discriminates well between health and voice diseases, as well as between different voice-related diseases. The VHI-N may be recommended to be used when monitoring voice-related disease treatment.

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Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Correspondence to Tom Karlsen.

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Karlsen, T., Heimdal, JH., Grieg, A.R.H. et al. The Norwegian Voice Handicap Index (VHI-N) patient scores are dependent on voice-related disease group. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 272, 2897–2905 (2015).

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  • Voice Handicap Index (VHI)
  • Norwegian
  • Voice disorders
  • Diagnosis groups