Teachers frequently present with voice problems as result of functional voice hyperfunction and it seems that occupational duties often impede successful implementation of a conventional voice conservation strategies. The goal of this single-subject study was to investigate the practical value of personal voice amplification as an assistive option for teachers experiencing occupation-related voice problems The physical state of a teacher’s vocal chords and specific perceptual and acoustic attributes of her voice were evaluated before and after a period of conventional voice conservation, and also before and after a period during which personal voice amplification was used as an augmentative strategy. In the course of the study it was in the interest of the subject that a persistent vocal fold nodule be removed surgically. The research design was adapted accordingly and the study consequently included a pre- and post surgical phase. Physical examinations of the vocal cords reflected the positive effect of the surgical removal of a vocal fold nodule. An improvement in the general status of the vocal cords was also noted following periods during which personal voice amplification was used in combination with a conventional voice conservation strategy. Perceptual and acoustic analysis of voice quality confirmed the positive effect of the surgical intervention. Although a panel of judges did not detect an improvement in the subject’s voice quality following the assistive use of the personal amplifier, several acoustic voice parameters showed improvement or normalised after the use of personal voice amplification in combination with conventional voice conservation strategies. The subject’s repeated evaluation of her own voice experiences, as well as her view of the practicability of the two voice conservation strategies, revealed a remarkably positive attitude towards the augmentative use of personal voice amplification. The conclusion is that teachers who experience occupational voice problems could benefit from the use of personal voice amplification in combination with a conventional voice conservation strategy.
Dissertation (M (Communication Pathology))--University of Pretoria, 2006.