Self-ratings of vocal status in daily life: Reliability and validity for patients with vocal hyperfunction and a normative group

Jarrad H. Van Stan*, Marc Maffei, Maria Lúcia Vaz Masson, Daryush D. Mehta, James A. Burns, Robert E. Hillman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose: The aim of this study was to establish reliability and validity for self-ratings of vocal status obtained during the daily activities of patients with vocal hyperfunction (VH) and matched controls. Method: Eight-four patients with VH and 74 participants with normal voices answered 3 vocal status questions— difficulty producing soft, high-pitched phonation (D-SHP); discomfort; and fatigue—on an ambulatory voice monitor at the beginning, 5-hr intervals, and the end of each day (7 total days). Two subsets of the patient group answered the questions during a 2nd week after voice therapy (29 patients) or laryngeal surgery (16 patients). Results: High reliability resulted for patients (Cronbach’s α = .88) and controls (α = .95). Patients reported higher D-SHP, discomfort, and fatigue (Cohen’s d = 1.62–1.92) compared with controls. Patients posttherapy and postsurgery reported significantly improved self-ratings of vocal status relative to their pretreatment ratings (d = 0.70–1.13). Within-subject changes in self-ratings greater than 20 points were considered clinically meaningful. Conclusions: Ratings of D-SHP, discomfort, and fatigue have adequate reliability and validity for tracking vocal status throughout daily life in patients with VH and vocally healthy individuals. These questions could help investigate the relationship between vocal symptom variability and putative contributing factors (e.g., voice use/rest, emotions).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1167-1177
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of speech-language pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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