The Characteristics of Voice Handicap Index and Vocal Misuse and Overuse in Female Elementary Teachers

초등학교 여교사들의 음성장애지수와 음성오남용 특성

  • 최성희 (대구가톨릭대학교 언어청각치료학과) ;
  • 최철희 (대구가톨릭대학교 언어청각치료학과)
  • Received : 2013.11.03
  • Accepted : 2013.12.07
  • Published : 2013.12.31


Voice disorders are most common in female teachers due to work-related vocal demands; however, only a few studies tried to evaluate individual risk factors with work-related risk factors to diagnose voice disorders. This study evaluated sixty-seven female elementary teachers (36 with voice disorders and 31 without voice disorders) to compare their vocal misuse, overuse, and vocal hygiene behaviors. Total Voice Handicap Index scores and VHI subscale (P, E, F) scores were not significantly different between two groups (p>0.05) and there was no relationship between VHI and acoustic measures (p>0.05). Loud talking, talking in noisy situations, and excessive speaking were significantly more frequent in female teachers with voice disorders (p<0.05) and thereby these overuse and misuse behavioral patterns were identified as risk factors to develop voice disorders in female teachers. Also, hydration was the most common behavior for vocal hygiene when experiencing vocal fatigue; however, hydration with hot green tea or coffee and throat clearing were often misused for vocal hygiene. This study found that female teachers from both groups presented higher voice handicap regardless of voice disorders. This study suggests a multidimensional voice assessment protocol is required to reflect voice problems in teachers and a vocal education program may be important to improve vocal hygiene knowledge and behavioral changes in female teachers.



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