Pharmacologic management of voice disorders by general medicine providers and otolaryngologists

Seth M. Cohen, Hui Jie Lee, Nelson Roy, Stephanie N Misono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives: 1) To compare laryngeal diagnoses from general medical providers (GMP) to otolaryngologists following GMP-based medication trial, and 2) to evaluate associations between GMP medication trials and pharmacologic treatment by otolaryngologists. Methods: Retrospective cohort analysis using large, national administrative U.S. claims database. Patients with laryngeal/voice disorders as per the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes from January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2012, seen by a GMP and then an otolaryngologist between 2 weeks to 3 months after the GMP visit, were included. Patient demographics, comorbid conditions, medication use, and initial GMP and otolaryngology laryngeal diagnoses were collected. Logistic regression was performed to evaluate the association between GMP and otolaryngologist medication trials. Results: A total of 12,475 unique laryngeal/voice-disordered patients met inclusion criteria. At the initial GMP visit, 15.3% received an antibiotic, 14.0% a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), and 7.7% an oral steroid. After the otolaryngology visit, increased diagnoses of vocal fold paralysis/paresis, benign vocal fold/laryngeal pathology, chronic laryngitis, and multiple diagnoses occurred. The adjusted odds for an otolaryngologist prescribing an antibiotic, PPI, or oral steroid, respectively, given that a GMP prescribed an antibiotic, PPI, or oral steroid, was roughly two to three times higher that of a GMP not prescribing the given medication. Conclusion: Patients with structural and neuromuscular laryngeal disorders were treated with medications by GMPs, and similar mediations often were repeated after otolaryngology evaluation. These findings suggest potential areas of unnecessary pharmacologic treatment of laryngeal/voice-disordered patients. Level of Evidence: 2b. Laryngoscope, 128:682–689, 2018.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)682-689
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • Laryngeal disorders
  • dysphonia
  • pharmacology
  • treatment
  • voice

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