Authors: Leppanen K, Laukkanen AM, Ilomaki I, Vilkman E
Title: A comparison of the effects of Voice Massage[TM] and voice hygiene lecture on self-reported vocal well-being and acoustic and perceptual speech parameters in female teachers
Source: Folia Phoniatrica et Logopedica 2009 61(4): 227-238
Year: 2009
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 06/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - N
Random allocation - Y
Concealed allocation - N
Baseline comparability - Y
Blind subjects - N
Blind therapists - N
Blind assessors - Y
Adequate follow-up - Y
Intention-to-treat analysis - N
Between-group comparisons - Y
Point estimates and variability - Y

This study compared the effects of Voice Massage[trademark] (VM) and a voice hygiene lecture (VHL) on 60 female teachers. VM is a Finnish massage method which treats muscles related to voice production. All subjects attended the VHL (3 h). Half of them were randomly assigned to the VM group, the other half received only VHL. VM was given 5 times in 1-hour sessions at intervals of 1-2 weeks. At the beginning and end of the autumn school term, before and after a working day, (1) a 1-min reading sample was recorded at both the subject's habitual loudness and loudly, (2) a prolonged phonation on [a:] was recorded at habitual speaking pitch and (3) a questionnaire on voice quality, ease or difficulty of phonation, and tiredness of the throat was completed. The reading samples were analysed for the fundamental frequency (F0), equivalent sound level (Leq) and alpha-ratio [Leq (1-5 kHz) - Leq (50-1,000 Hz)]. The vowel samples were analysed for the F0 and Leq, as well as for jitter and shimmer. The reading samples were also evaluated perceptually by 3 speech trainers. The mean F0 and difficulty of phonation increased from the beginning to the end of the term in the VHL group (p = 0.026, p = 0.007, respectively). In the VM group, the perceived firmness of loud reading decreased (p = 0.026). The results suggest that VM may help in sustaining vocal well-being during a school term.

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