Title

Preliminary Data on Prevention and Treatment of Voice Problems in Student Teachers

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-1-2012

Description

Summary

Objectives/Hypotheses

To assess the utility of a targeted voice hygiene (VH) program compared to VH plus voice training intervention (VH+VT) for the prevention and treatment of voice problems in student teachers.

Study Design

Prospective, randomized.

Methods

Thirty-one student teachers with low (good) and high (poor) voice handicap index (VHI) scores in Pittsburgh and Hong Kong were randomly assigned to (1) a targeted, individually tailored VH program, (2) the VH program plus resonant VT (VH+VT), or (c) a control group. Participants assigned to intervention groups were monitored for their adherence to their programs for their first 4 weeks of student teaching. VHI data were collected again 4 weeks postintervention (both sites) and 8 weeks postintervention, following a no-contact washout period (Pittsburgh).

Results

Descriptive data analysis indicated that across both sites, for initially healthy participants, the VH program was sufficient to prevent worsening of VHI scores that occurred in all control participants over the first 4–8 weeks of student teaching. The addition of VT did not consistently enhance protective benefits over VH alone. In contrast, for participants with initially poor VHI scores, the VH program failed to produce VHI benefits over the control condition. The addition of VT was required to optimize results for that cohort.

Conclusions

Preliminary data suggest that a minimalist, individually tailored VH program may be sufficient to prevent voice problems from teaching in healthy student teachers. However, for student teachers with existing voice problems, VT may be required to optimize results of intervention.

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