Treatment Receipt and Outcomes of Self-Reported Voice Problems in the US Population Aged ≥65 Years

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Objectives: (1) Characterize the US population aged ≥65 years with self-reported voice problems, (2) describe voice treatment characteristics in this group, and (3) identify factors associated with self-reported voice improvement.

Study Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Setting: Population-based cross-sectional US national survey sample.

Subjects and Methods: We identified a cohort of adults aged ≥65 years from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey, a population-based US national survey. Descriptive and multivariable regression analyses were performed.

Results: The prevalence of self-reported voice problems in this cohort was 10%. Of those, 44% reported voice problems for >1 month. The strongest predictor of reporting voice improvement was receipt of voice treatment (odds ratio, 3.50; 95% confidence interval, 1.36-9.00), after adjusting for sex, age, race, education, and health status. Eleven percent reported voice treatment, which included 20% of those with moderate or worse voice problem severity. Female sex and worse health status were associated with reporting voice treatment. Among those with voice treatment, 38% reported "better," 33% "same," and 29% "worse" voice symptoms over the past year, compared to 17%, 67%, and 16%, respectively, among those without treatment. Health status influenced likelihood of reporting voice improvement but not universally.

Conclusions: We observed a significant self-reported burden of voice problems in the US population aged ≥65 years. Most are untreated and thus not well represented in the current literature. Vocal improvement was strongly associated with treatment. Further investigation is needed to clarify patient and treatment characteristics most associated with vocal improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2473974X18774023
JournalOTO Open
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 28 2018
Externally publishedYes

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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