Increased levels of fatigue and perfectionism are found in patients with functional dysphonia

June 1, 2011

Fatigue and poor health, anxiety and depression (physiological, affective and cognitive factors) may have a major impact on patients with functional dysphonia (FD), leading to time off work, reduced activity, and social withdrawal, all of which could further perpetuate and/or cause anxiety, low mood, fatigue and reduced voice use, according to new research published in the June 2011 issue of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.

Functional dysphonia (FD) is a voice disorder in which an abnormal voice exists with no vocal pathology, either structural or neurogenic. According to study results, the current literature on dysphonia has a tendency to paint a rather homogenous picture of distress plus repression as the main pathogenic factor in vocal dysfunction.

"The primary aim of the study was to investigate whether FD patients did experience fatigue in addition to their voice problems, and to ascertain if, as in other fatigued populations, this was also associated with perfectionism," said study author James O'Hara, FRCS. "Our hypothesis was that FD patients would have higher levels of fatigue and perfectionism than matched healthy controls in a cross sectional survey."

The majority of the patient population included patients with functional dysphonia from the Freeman Hospital in the United Kingdom. An 11- point fatigue questionnaire, previously validated on a normal population, was analyzed, with a score above 4 on the bimodal system implying substantial fatigue. A 35-point perfectionism questionnaire was also completed and analyzed for "healthy" and "unhealthy" perfectionist traits.

There were 75 cases and 62 controls. The mean fatigue score in patients with functional dysphonia was 17.0 and 14.4 for the controls. Using the bimodal scoring system, the mean scores in functional dysphonia (5.10) and controls (3.01) were also significantly different. The mean perfectionism scores were 98.9 for patients with functional dysphonia and 91.2 for controls.

The evidence in the study suggests that with functional dysphonia are both more fatigued and perfectionist than healthy controls. Author James O'Hara, FRCS, writes, "Understanding how these factors play into the illness experience of people with this condition can help us improve our understanding of how FD develops and how we can practically improve the treatment of those affected by it."

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Google searches can be used to track dengue in underdeveloped countries

July 20, 2017
An analytical tool that combines Google search data with government-provided clinical data can quickly and accurately track dengue fever in less-developed countries, according to new research published in PLOS Computational ...

MRSA emerged years before methicillin was even discovered

July 19, 2017
Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) emerged long before the introduction of the antibiotic methicillin into clinical practice, according to a study published in the open access journal Genome Biology. It was ...

New test distinguishes Zika from similar viral infections

July 18, 2017
A new test is the best-to-date in differentiating Zika virus infections from infections caused by similar viruses. The antibody-based assay, developed by researchers at UC Berkeley and Humabs BioMed, a private biotechnology ...

'Superbugs' study reveals complex picture of E. coli bloodstream infections

July 18, 2017
The first large-scale genetic study of Escherichia coli (E. coli) cultured from patients with bloodstream infections in England showed that drug resistant 'superbugs' are not always out-competing other strains. Research by ...

Ebola virus can persist in monkeys that survived disease, even after symptoms disappear

July 17, 2017
Ebola virus infection can be detected in rhesus monkeys that survive the disease and no longer show symptoms, according to research published by Army scientists in today's online edition of the journal Nature Microbiology. ...

Mountain gorillas have herpes virus similar to that found in humans

July 13, 2017
Scientists from the University of California, Davis, have detected a herpes virus in wild mountain gorillas that is very similar to the Epstein-Barr virus in humans, according to a study published today in the journal Scientific ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.