An evaluation of the effects of two treatment approaches for teachers with voice disorders: a prospective randomized clinical trial

N Roy, S D Gray, M Simon, H Dove, K Corbin-Lewis, J C Stemple
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research: JSLHR 2001, 44 (2): 286-96
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.

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