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J Voice. 2007 Nov;21(6):705-22. Epub 2006 Sep 18.

Vocal problems among teachers: evaluation of a preventive voice program.

Author information

1
Department of Audiology, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy. bovoroberto@libero.it

Abstract

Vocal education programs for teachers may prevent the emergence of vocal disorders; however, only a few studies have tried to evaluate the effectiveness of these preventive programs, particularly in the long term. Two hundred and sixty-four subjects, mostly kindergarten and primary school female teachers, participated in a course on voice care, including a theoretical seminar (120 minutes) and a short voice group therapy (180 minutes, small groups of 20 subjects). For 3 months, they had to either attend the vocal ergonomics norms and, as psychological reinforcement, they had to make out a daily report of vocal abuse, or to follow the given exercises for a more efficient vocal technique, reporting on whether the time scheduled was respected or not. The effectiveness of the course was assessed in a group of 21 female teachers through a randomized controlled study. Evaluation comprehended stroboscopy, perceptual and electro-acoustical voice analysis, Voice Handicap Index, and a course benefit questionnaire. A group of 20 teachers matched for age, working years, hoarseness grade, and vocal demand served as a control group. At 3 months evaluation, participants demonstrated amelioration in the global dysphonia rates (P=0.0003), jitter (P=0.0001), shimmer (P=0.0001), MPT (P=0.0001), and VHI (P=0.0001). Twelve months after the course, the positive effects remained, although they were slightly reduced. In conclusion, a course inclusive of two lectures, a short group voice therapy, home-controlled voice exercises, and hygiene, represents a feasible and cost-effective primary prevention of voice disorders in a homogeneous and well-motivated population of teachers.

PMID:
16979870
DOI:
10.1016/j.jvoice.2006.07.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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