Prevalence and Voice Characteristics of Laryngeal Pathology in an Italian Voice Therapy-seeking Population

Francesco Mozzanica, Daniela Ginocchio, Maria Rosaria Barillari, Stefania Barozzi, Patrizia Maruzzi, Francesco Ottaviani, Antonio Schindler, Murat Atac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and clinical characteristics of voice disorders in a large group of patients seeking voice therapy. Study design: This is a prospective prevalence study. Methods: A total of 821 patients were enrolled. Each patient was evaluated following a multidimensional protocol including videolaryngostroboscopy, perception, acoustics, aerodynamics, and self-rating by the patient. Data regarding age, gender, tobacco use, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and professional voice use were collected and analyzed. Results: Based on videolaryngoscopic findings, the sample group was divided into patients with functional dysphonia (n = 155), patients with organic dysphonia (n = 359), and patients with dysphonia due to movement disorders (n = 307). The most frequently detected pathologies were vocal fold paralysis, muscle tension dysphonia, and vocal fold edema. Children (n = 41) and adolescents (n = 43) represented a minority of the sample group. Dysphonia was significantly more common in women. Organic dysphonia was more common in children and adolescents. GERD was suspected in 382 patients and confirmed in 83 of them; 164 patients were smokers. Professional voice users composed the large majority of the working population and were more frequently affected by organic dysphonia. Patients with dysphonia due to movement disorders presented a worse voice quality and voice-related quality of life. Conclusions: In patients seeking voice therapy, there are more females than males, children and adolescents represent a minority of the sample, professional voice users more commonly present organic dysphonia, and patients with dysphonia due to movement disorders show significantly worse voice quality.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Voice
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2016


  • Dysphonia
  • Dysphonia prevalence
  • Laryngeal pathology
  • Quality of life
  • Voice disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Speech and Hearing
  • LPN and LVN


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