Voice- and swallow-related quality of life in idiopathic Parkinson's disease

Michel R. A. van Hooren*, Laura W. J. Baijens, Reinder Vos, Walmari Pilz, Laura M. F. Kuijpers, Bernd Kremer, Emilia Michou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives/HypothesisThis study explores whether changes in voice- and swallow-related QoL are associated with progression of idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD). Furthermore, it examines the relationship between patients' perception of both voice and swallowing disorders in IPD. Study DesignProspective clinical study, quality of life (QoL). MethodsOne-hundred mentally competent IPD patients with voice and swallowing complaints were asked to answer four QoL questionnaires (Voice Handicap Index, MD Anderson Dysphagia Inventory, Visual Analog Scale [VAS] voice, and Dysphagia Severity Scale [DSS]). Differences in means for the QoL questionnaires and their subscales within Hoehn and Yahr stage groups were calculated using one-way analysis of variance. The relationship between voice- and swallow-related QoL questionnaires was determined with the Spearman correlation coefficient. ResultsScores on both voice and swallow questionnaires suggest an overall decrease in QoL with progression of IPD. A plateau in QoL for VAS voice and the DSS was seen in the early Hoehn and Yahr stages. Finally, scores on voice-related QoL questionnaires were significantly correlated with swallow-related QoL outcomes. ConclusionsVoice- and swallow-related QoL decreases with progression of IPD. A significant association was found between voice- and swallow-related QoL questionnaires. Healthcare professionals can benefit from voice- and swallow-related QoL questionnaires in a multidimensional voice- or swallow-assessment protocol. The patient's perception of his/her voice and swallowing disorders and its impact on QoL in IPD should not be disregarded. Level of Evidence2b Laryngoscope, 126:408-414, 2016
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-414
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016


  • Parkinson's disease
  • dysphagia
  • dysphonia
  • voice
  • quality of life


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