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Description of patients consulting the voice clinic regarding gender, age, occupational status, and diagnosis

Abstract

The purpose of this paper was to describe the gender, age, occupational status, and diagnosis of dysphonic patients. We retrospectively analyzed the medical records of 1079 patients examined at the Voice clinic of the University hospital of Liège in French-speaking Belgium. Overall, seven out of ten patients who attended the voice clinic for dysphonia were females. The patients’ ages ranged from 4 to 93 (mean = 43.5). Females predominantly consulted at the age of 54 and males at the age of 9. Regarding the occupational status, workers represented more than half of our patients (53 %), while 11.2 % were unemployed, 15.4 % were students, and 19.9 % were retired. Regarding the diagnoses of the 1079 patients, nodules were the most common pathologies (n = 182, 16.9 % of the patients), prevailing in females (n = 142, 18.8 % of the females), and encountered in 16.8 % of the workers and 42.8 % of the students consulting the voice clinic. Following nodules, laryngeal mobility disorders were diagnosed in 16.4 % of the patients (n = 177), mainly females (n = 115), and was the most frequent diagnosis in retirees (n = 75, 34.9 %). The majority of the patients consulting the voice clinic for dysphonia were adult females, in their workforce, diagnosed with vocal nodules. The identification of the patients’ characteristics and diagnoses is important to develop treatments and prevention of dysphonia, estimate their costs, and allow comparisons across referral centers.

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Acknowledgments

The authors gratefully thank Vincent Didone for statistical advice and Lionel Lejeune, ENT, at Liège University Hospital.

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Correspondence to Angélique Remacle.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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Due to the retrospective nature of the study on 1079 participants, the consent was not obtained from all individual participants. However, all procedures performed in this study 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. This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Psychology, Speech and Language Therapy, and Education at the University of Liège.

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Remacle, A., Petitfils, C., Finck, C. et al. Description of patients consulting the voice clinic regarding gender, age, occupational status, and diagnosis. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 274, 1567–1576 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00405-016-4332-7

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Keywords

  • Voice disorders
  • Dysphonia
  • Voice pathology
  • Laryngeal pathology
  • Prevalence
  • Epidemiology