Correlation Between a Diagnosis of Anxiety or Depression and Initial VHI-10 Scores in Benign Dysphonia

Kwasi Enin, Ayush Parikh, Dorina Kallogjeri, Matthew R. Naunheim, Molly N. Huston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: Anxiety and depression have demonstrated a positive correlation with vocal handicap among patients with benign causes of dysphonia. Our objective is to explore differences in initial Vocal Handicap Index–10 (VHI-10) scores between patients with a mental health history of anxiety or depression and those without. Study Design: Retrospective cohort study. Setting: Demographic data, diagnoses, and initial VHI-10 scores were collected for patients presenting with dysphonia to 2 tertiary laryngology clinics. Methods: A Kruskal-Wallis test and subsequent Mann-Whitney U test for pairwise comparisons were used to compare distribution of VHI-10 scores among patients with anxiety, depression, anxiety and depression, and no such conditions. Bonferroni correction was used to control for multiple comparisons. Robust regression was used for multivariable analysis. Results: A total of 620 cases of benign dysphonia were analyzed. Forty-two percent of the patient cohort had a preexisting diagnosis of anxiety (n = 121, 20%), depression (n = 64, 10%), or anxiety and depression (n = 74, 12%). VHI-10 scores were higher in patients with depression than in those without anxiety or depression (median difference, 4 [95% CI, 1-8]; P =.005) but did not differ significantly among the other groups. The effects of depression and anxiety status on initial VHI-10 scores among the causes of benign dysphonia varied. Conclusions: Patients with a history of depression who presented with dysphonia had worse vocal handicap than those without anxiety/depression history. Future studies may clarify how optimization of anxiety and depression can affect patient-reported vocal handicap.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)725-730
Number of pages6
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • comprehensive care
  • dysphonia
  • laryngology
  • mental health
  • voice


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