Title page for ETD etd-01232006-134857

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Overall, Natalie Herpin
Author's Email Address nherpi1@lsu.edu
URN etd-01232006-134857
Title Validity of the Reflux Symptoms Index for Post-Pubescent Female Vocalists
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Communication Sciences & Disorders
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Paul Hoffman Committee Chair
Hugh Buckingham Committee Member
Janna Oetting Committee Member
  • hoarseness
  • vocal fold edema
  • esophagus
  • differential diagnosis
  • clinical application
Date of Defense 2006-01-17
Availability unrestricted
The Reflux Symptoms Index (RSI), a nine-item self-rated questionnaire, has been suggested as a way of monitoring severity of laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) symptoms during treatment. However, limited research has been conducted to assess the validity of the RSI as a way of identifying severity of laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) symptoms as differentiated from gastroesophageal reflux (GER) symptoms. Twenty-five post-pubescent female vocalists participated by completing a one-hour voice evaluation, including a Voice Handicap Index (VHI), an RSI, a Reflux Finding Score (RFS) completed with videostroboscopy for visualization of the laryngeal cavity, and analysis of an acoustic sample with the Multi-Dimensional Voice Profile for noise to harmonic ratio (NHR) and perceptual ratings of hoarseness and breathiness. The investigation placed each participant into one of three groups based upon symptoms reported in her case history form. In an effort to evaluate the validity of the RSI as a tool for differentiating LPR from GER and the absence of reflux, these scores were analyzed for correlations or group relationships. Predictions were that, if the RSI were an indicator of severity of LPR, the RSI raw score would correlate with type of symptoms, RFS raw score, NHR, and/or perceptions of hoarseness. Results failed to reveal statistically significant group differences; however, informal inspection of the data indicated that the RSI scores were generally higher for the GER group than the LPR and asymptomatic groups. Also, RSI scores correlated with VHI raw scores, as both were self-rated items, and the NHR values and the perceptual ratings of hoarseness correlated with the VHI raw scores.

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