An Evaluation of the Effects of Two Treatment Approaches for Teachers With Voice Disorders A Prospective Randomized Clinical Trial Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 2001
An Evaluation of the Effects of Two Treatment Approaches for Teachers With Voice Disorders
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nelson Roy
    The University of Utah Salt Lake City
  • Steven D. Gray
    The University of Utah Salt Lake City
  • Mindy Simon
    The University of Utah Salt Lake City
  • Heather Dove
    The University of Utah Hospital and Clinics Salt Lake City
  • Kim Corbin-Lewis
    Utah State University Logan
  • Joseph C. Stemple
    The Blaine Block Institute for Voice Analysis and Rehabilitation Dayton, OH
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 2001
An Evaluation of the Effects of Two Treatment Approaches for Teachers With Voice Disorders
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2001, Vol. 44, 286-296. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2001/023)
History: Received July 17, 2000 , Accepted November 1, 2000
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 2001, Vol. 44, 286-296. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2001/023)
History: Received July 17, 2000; Accepted November 1, 2000
Web of Science® Times Cited: 103

Teachers commonly report voice problems and often seek medical assistance for voice-related complaints. Despite the prevalence of voice disorders within this occupation, there are no studies evaluating the effectiveness of treatment programs designed to remedy the voice problems of teachers. To assess the functional effects of two voice therapy approaches, 58 voice-disordered teachers were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups: vocal hygiene (VH, n=20), vocal function exercises (VFE, n=19), and a nontreatment control group (CON, n=19). Subjects completed the Voice Handicap Index (VHI) —an instrument designed to appraise the self-perceived psychosocial consequences of voice disorders—before and following a 6-week treatment phase. The VFE and VH subjects also completed a posttreatment questionnaire regarding the perceived benefits of treatment. Only the group who adhered to the VFE regimen reported a significant reduction in mean VHI scores (p<.0002). Furthermore, when compared to the VH group, the exercise group reported more overall voice improvement (p<.05) and greater ease (p<.02) and clarity (p<.01) in their speaking and singing voice after treatment. These findings suggest that the VFE should be considered as a useful alternative or adjunct to vocal hygiene programs in the treatment of voice problems in teachers.

Acknowledgments
The authors wish to thank the speech-language pathologists who generously volunteered to serve as voice clinicians: Mahdis Adams, Davette W. Butcher, Susie Durr, Judy Giordano-Olson, Kim Player, Patricia Smith, Kristine Tanner, Joan Townsend, and Lorilyn K. Vogel. Without their assistance this research would not have been possible. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the assistance and support of Dale Sheld, Education Specialist for Communication Disorders and Learning Disabilities, and the coordinators of the speech-language pathology programs of the Utah State Office of Education. We would like to thank Dennis Heisey, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin– Madison, for his helpful comments and advice regarding statistical analyses. This work was supported in part by the National Center for Voice and Speech through Grant R01DC02285-01A1 (Voice abuse in teachers and the general population) of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
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