Authors: Gaskill CS, O'Brien SG, Tinter SR
Title: The Effect of Voice Amplification on Occupational Vocal Dose in Elementary School Teachers
Source: Journal Of Voice 2012 26(5): 667e19-667e27
Year: 2012
Research Design: Single Case Design

Two elementary school teachers, one with and one without a history of vocal complaints, wore a vocal dosimeter all day at school for a 3-week period. In the second week, each teacher wore a portable voice amplifier. Each teacher showed a reduction in vocal intensity during the week of amplification, with a larger effect for the teacher with vocal difficulties. This teacher also showed a decrease in hourly vocal fold distance dose as measured by the dosimeter despite incurring longer phonation times. Fundamental frequency and vocal fold cycle dose did not appear to be affected by the use of amplification during the teaching day. Both teachers showed evidence of a possible moderate effect of adjusting vocal intensity in the week after amplification, possibly as a means to recalibrate their perceived vocal loudness. This study demonstrates the usefulness of both vocal dosimetry and amplification in monitoring and modifying vocal dose in an occupational setting and reinforces previous data suggesting the effectiveness of amplification in reducing the vocal load in schoolteachers. Implications of the data for future research regarding prevention and treatment of occupational voice disorders are discussed.

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