Health information-seeking behaviors among classically trained singers

Brian E Petty
Journal of Voice 2012, 26 (3): 330-5
Understanding health information-seeking behaviors (HISBs) within a particular patient demographic group is an important part of effective clinical outreach and education efforts. Although the community of classically trained singers has long been recognized by specialized health care providers, no studies have yet addressed the processes by which they search for voice-related health information, and little is known about how they use and access medical care. An electronic questionnaire focusing on HISB and voice-related health care issues was administered to 151 self-identified classically trained singers and 49 nonsinger controls. Outcomes of interest were tested for association with groups of singers and controls, followed by tests of association between demographic variables (age, gender, insurance status) with each outcome of interest. Results showed significant differences in specialty care access including point of first contact (P=0.0085), gender-associated delay of treatment initiation (P=0.0324), and use of home remedies for vocal problems (P≤0.0001). Significant differences in HISB were noted as well, including history of having undertaken an information search (P≤0.0001), likelihood of having concerns about information quality (P≤0.0001), and difficulty knowing where to find information (P≤0.0001). Differences were influenced by singing status, age, and gender. The insights provided by these data may inform decision-making processes regarding patient care, patient education, and clinical outreach to the target population.

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