Quantifying Vocal Power: Correlation of Whole Body Anaerobic Power to Vocal Function Measures
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
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PURPOSE: The purpose of this preliminary study was to identify a vocal task that could be used as a clinical indicator of the vocal aptitude or vocal fitness required for vocally demanding occupations in a manner similar to that of the anaerobic power tests commonly used in exercise science. Performance outcomes for vocal tasks that require rapid acceleration and high force production may be useful as an indirect indicator of muscle fiber complement and bioenergetic fitness of the vocal folds, an organ that is difficult to study directly. METHODS: Sixteen females (age range: 19-24; mean age: 22) were consented for participation and completed the following performance measures: forced vital capacity, three adapted vocal function tasks, and the horizontal sprint test. RESULTS: Using a within-participant correlational analyses, results indicated a positive relationship between the rate of the last second of a laryngeal diadochokinetic task that was produced at a high fundamental frequency/high sound level and whole body anaerobic power performance. Forced vital capacity was not correlated with any of the vocal function tasks. CONCLUSIONS: These preliminary results indicate that aspects of the LDDK task produced at a high f0 and high sound level may be useful as an ecologically valid measure of vocal power ability. Quantification of vocal power ability may be useful as an outcomes measure for voice rehabilitation and habilitation for patients with vocally demanding jobs.