Title

Voice disorders and related risk factors among music therapists: Survey findings and strategies for voice care

Department

Speech Language Pathology

Abstract

The purposes of this article are to: (a) describe the prevalence of voice disorders among professional and student members of the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA); (b) highlight the risk factors associated with voice disorders among music therapists; (c) report on the types of education received by music therapists regarding voice care; and (d) present practical strategies to music therapists for preserving vocal health. The authors distributed an online survey that was completed by 561 AMTA members. Results indicated that 43% of respondents reported having a voice disorder at some point in their lives while 7.8% reported having an existing voice disorder. Over 84% of respondents reported at least one vocal health risk factor, the most frequent of which included seasonal allergies (66.5%), acid reflux (29.1%), and missing at least one day of work because of a voice issue (29.1%). Additionally, using the Voice Handicap Index-10 as a screening tool, 15.8% of respondents met criteria for a referral to a medical voice specialist. Around 4% of respondents indicated that they had not received education regarding voice care, while the most common means of vocal health education involved the integration of voice care into pre-clinical training coursework or continuing education. Results suggest that not only are music therapists at an elevated risk compared to the general population for the development of voice disorders, but the availability and types of educational resources related to vocal health are quite variable. Thus, more education regarding the care and handling of the voice is needed.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-12-2019

Publication Title

Music Therapy Perspectives

ISSN

0734-6875

Volume

37

Issue

1

DOI

10.1093/mtp/miy010

First Page

37

Last Page

44

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