Pilot Evaluation of Community-Based Vocal Health Screenings

Academic Article

Abstract

  • Introduction: Community-based health fairs can help identify at-risk populations, improve health literacy, and facilitate access to medical services. No community-based screenings specifically targeting vocal health were identified in the literature. The purpose of this study is to compare the results of community-based vocal health screenings across two populations: a group of community members with unknown risk of voice problems, and a group of actors belonging to a profession with a known increased risk of voice problems. Methods: Vocal health screenings were conducted at two free, community-based health fair events in the Los Angeles area. One was open to the public, and one was organized specifically for actors who are members of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. A total of 142 community members (94 nonactors and 48 actors) were administered a questionnaire on current vocal health and voice-related quality of life indices (Vocal Handicap Index-10, Vocal Fatigue Index), followed by review and discussion with a laryngologist or a speech pathologist trained in assessment and treatment of voice disorders. Results: A significantly higher percentage of actors (55.1%) reported current voice problems than nonactors (33.0%; χ2 = 7.122, df = 1, P = 0.008). Additionally, as measured by the Vocal Fatigue Index 2 subscale, actors reported a greater amount of perceived pain with phonation than the nonactors. Despite over half of the actors reporting current voice concerns, only 7% reported having sought medical advice regarding these concerns. Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that vocal health screenings can help identify persons with voice complaints. However, in order to determine if vocal health screenings help close prevalence-presentation gap and are useful to both medical professionals and participants, more research is needed.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Journal of Voice  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 19879730
  • Author List

  • Enclade HX; Chow MS; Sund LT; O'Dell K; Hapner ER; Johns MM
  • Start Page

  • 666.e1
  • End Page

  • 666.e5
  • Volume

  • 35
  • Issue

  • 4