Evaluating Treatments for Teachers With Voice Disorders: Recent Evidence from Randomized Clinical Trials (RCT) Research Five to ten percent of the labor force in the United States would be classified as “heavy occupational voice users.” While this workforce includes members of the clergy, counselors, telemarketers, singers, lawyers, tour guides, and stage actors (to mention only a few), this country’s approximately 3 million elementary and ... Article
Article  |   March 01, 2003
Evaluating Treatments for Teachers With Voice Disorders: Recent Evidence from Randomized Clinical Trials (RCT) Research
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nelson Roy
    Department of Communication Disorders & Division of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, The University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Articles
Article   |   March 01, 2003
Evaluating Treatments for Teachers With Voice Disorders: Recent Evidence from Randomized Clinical Trials (RCT) Research
SIG 3 Perspectives on Voice and Voice Disorders, March 2003, Vol. 13, 16-18. doi:10.1044/wd13.1.16
SIG 3 Perspectives on Voice and Voice Disorders, March 2003, Vol. 13, 16-18. doi:10.1044/wd13.1.16
Five to ten percent of the labor force in the United States would be classified as “heavy occupational voice users.” While this workforce includes members of the clergy, counselors, telemarketers, singers, lawyers, tour guides, and stage actors (to mention only a few), this country’s approximately 3 million elementary and secondary school teachers represent the largest group of professionals who use their voice as a primary tool of trade. Not surprisingly, voice disorders are a relatively common occupational hazard of teaching school. Teachers are more likely to develop voice problems and report higher rates of specific voice symptoms and symptoms of voice-related physical discomfort as compared to other occupations. At least one in three teachers complain that teaching has an adverse effect on their voice, and many of those teachers are forced to reduce teaching activities as a result. Vocal dysfunction interferes with job satisfaction, performance, and attendance causing 20% of teachers to report missing work because of voice-related difficulties. And, because their voices are essential to their occupation, severe voice problems can cause a teacher to leave the profession permanently. Because of lost workdays and treatment expenses, the societal costs—in the U.S. alone— have been estimated to be on the order of 2.5 billion dollars annually.
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