Authors: Lin KJY, Chan RW, Wu CH, Liu SCH
Title: A Vocal Hygiene Program for Mitigating the Effects of Occupational Vocal Demand in Primary School Teachers
Source: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 2023 66(5): 1525-1540
Year: 2023
Research Design: Non Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: N/A
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PURPOSE: Teachers are occupational voice users with significant vocal demand. This study examined if a vocal hygiene program could mitigate the effects of occupational vocal demand in primary school teachers across 1 month. METHOD: Sixty female teachers participated, with 30 in an experimental group receiving vocal hygiene education plus daily home practice for 1 month and 30 in a control group with no intervention. Their vocal changes across the month were quantified with (a) acoustic measures on fundamental frequency (fo), vocal intensity, jitter and shimmer, harmonics-to-noise ratio, and smoothed cepstral peak prominence and (b) Voice Handicap Index (VHI-10) and Vocal Fatigue Index (VFI) scores. RESULTS: Analysis of covariance showed significantly larger changes (significant decreases) in conversational fo and in jitter for the experimental group relative to the control group. Post hoc pairwise comparisons following repeated-measures analysis of variance showed significant decreases in conversational fo and in jitter across the month for the experimental group. No significant differences in VHI-10 and VFI scores were found between the groups. CONCLUSIONS: Vocal demand-related changes in acoustic measures could be partially mitigated with the vocal hygiene program. Future studies with a more refined intervention program and more long-term follow-up are recommended to better understand the long-term benefits of vocal hygiene programs on primary school teachers.

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