JOURNAL ARTICLE

The vocal quality in female student teachers during the 3 years of study

K M Van Lierde, S Claeys, E Dhaeseleer, S Deley, K Derde, I Herregods, I Strybol, F Wuyts
Journal of Voice 2010, 24 (5): 599-605
19836200
The purpose of the present cross-sectional study was to determine the objective vocal quality and the vocal characteristics (vocal risk factors, vocal and corporal complaints) in 143 female student teachers during the 3 years of study. The objective vocal quality was measured by means of the Dysphonia Severity Index (DSI). Perceptual voice assessment, the Voice Handicap Index, questionnaires addressing vocal risks, and vocal and corporal complaints during and/or after voice usage were performed. Student teachers have a normal perceptual and objective vocal quality corresponding with a DSI% of 76. The analysis of variance revealed a significant improvement of the vocal quality between the first and the third year of study. No psychosocial handicapping effect of the voice was observed, though there are some vocal complaints and almost all student teachers reported the presence of corporal pain during and/or after speaking. Especially sore throat and headache were mentioned as the most present corporal pain symptoms. Due to the decreased awareness and the multifactorial genesis of the potential vocal risk factors, the student teachers are at risk for developing an occupational dysphonia during their teaching career. Because teaching is a high-risk profession for the development of voice problems, the incorporation of a direct vocal training technique to increase vocal endurance during teaching together with a vocal hygiene program, dietetics, and a stress management training program during the 3 years of study is needed to prevent occupational dysphonia.

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