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Quality of life indicators according to voice disorders and voice-related conditions


  • The authors have no funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.



To evaluate the association between a history of voice disorders and voice-related conditions and the short form–36 eight-scale measure of functional health and well-being as well as psychometrically based physical and mental health summary measures within a senior population.

Study Design:

Cross-sectional survey completed by 461 individuals aged 50 years and older, October 2010.


The questionnaire included items on demographics, medical history, health, and voice use and disorders. Quality of life indicators were based on questions from the SF-36.


The prevalence of ever having had a voice disorder was 17%. Hoarseness, esophageal reflux, frequent throat clearing, respiratory allergies, pneumonia, difficulty projecting the voice, chronic dryness of the throat, bitter or acid taste, effort required to talk, stomach or duodenal ulcers, wobbly or shaky voice, voice discomfort, chronic throat soreness, and emphysema were significantly associated with participants indicating they had experienced a voice disorder. The history of anxiety and depression was also significantly associated with a history of voice-related conditions. Those with a history of voice disorders had significantly poorer health with respect to physical functioning, bodily pain, role limitations due to physical health problems, role limitations due to emotional problems, emotional well-being and social functioning, energy or fatigue, and general health perception.


Voice disorders stem from a variety of risk factors and biological mechanisms. Such disorders may lead to poor physical and psychosocial functioning.