Authors: Roy N, Gray SD, Simon M, Dove H, Corbin-Lewis K, Stemple JC
Title: An Evaluation of the Effects of Two Treatment Approaches for Teachers with Voice Disorders: A Prospective Randomized Clinical Trial
Source: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 2001 44(2): 286-296
Year: 2001
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 04/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - Y
Random allocation - Y
Concealed allocation - N
Baseline comparability - N
Blind subjects - N
Blind therapists - N
Blind assessors - N
Adequate follow-up - Y
Intention-to-treat analysis - N
Between-group comparisons - Y
Point estimates and variability - Y

Teachers commonly report voice problems & 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 one of three groups: vocal hygiene (VH, N = 20), vocal function exercises (VFE, N = 19), & 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 & following a 6-week treatment phase. The VFE & 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) & greater ease (p < .02) & clarity (p < .01) in their speaking & singing voice after treatment. These findings suggest that the VFE should be considered a useful alternative or adjunct to vocal hygiene programs in the treatment of voice problems in teachers.

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