Evaluation of Dysphonic Patients by General Otolaryngologists
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the instruments used by general otolaryngologists to visualize the larynx, assess the perception of the instruments' capabilities, and understand their comfort diagnosing specific etiologies of dysphonia. STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. METHODS: One thousand randomly chosen general otolaryngologists from American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery were mailed a survey. RESULTS: The response rate was 27.8%. Mean years in practice were 19.5. Mirror and fiberoptic laryngoscopy were most commonly used. Approximately 84.1% used stroboscopy and 33.7% reported laryngoscopy could assess vibration. Respondents were more comfortable diagnosing conditions with obvious laryngeal structural abnormalities compared with those without, such as central neurologic disorders (P≤0.001). Approximately 46.5% were concerned about overdiagnosing laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR). CONCLUSIONS: Although 84.1% of general otolaryngologists use stroboscopy, one-third may not appreciate the differences between stroboscopy and laryngoscopy. General otolaryngologists are less comfortable diagnosing voice disorders without obvious laryngeal structural abnormalities, and nearly 50% are concerned that they overdiagnose LPR.
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