Prevalence and Epidemiology of the Vocal Problems of Music Teachers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee
Type of Degreedissertation
Curriculum and Teaching
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A cross-sectional survey was designed to determine the prevalence, psychosocial impact, and contributory factors of voice disorders in general music teachers, choral directors, band directors, and orchestra directors in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee. One hundred and two teachers completed the computerized survey. The questionnaire contained 68 demographic items to gather information on daily habits and routines of participants and the 30-item Voice Handicap Index (VHI). Thirty-three (32.35%) participants indicated a positive diagnosis of a vocal problem by a medical professional. Forty-two participants (41.18%) indicated they experienced vocal problems a minimum of a few times per year or more without seeking medical help. It was found that the positive habit of drinking water was practiced by several of those diagnosed with a vocal problem. Seven percent of variance in lack of daily water intake scores could be explained by whether or not a person had received a positive diagnosis of a vocal problem. No other significant differences in environmental factor scores between those receiving a positive diagnosis and those having problems with no diagnosis were noted. Only small effect sizes were revealed between the two groups in the years teaching score (η2 = .01), daily reasons for raising the voice score (η2 = .02), daily coffee intake (η2 = .01) and daily alcohol intake (η2= .01). Seven percent of the variance in the total VHI scores could be explained by whether or not the participants experienced vocal problems. General music teachers (n = 49) made up more than 54% of the total vocal problems group (n = 37, 54.4% of TVP). Seventeen general music teachers (n = 17) had received a positive diagnosis of a vocal problem, which accounts for 56.7% of the entire population indicating a positive diagnosis of vocal problems (n = 30). Thirty-seven out of 49 general music teachers (75.5%) did report either a positive diagnosis or reported experiencing vocal problems during their careers. However, statistical analysis indicated that no one group was statistically more likely than another to be diagnosed with a vocal problem.