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ERIC Number: EJ1118986
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Oct
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
Epidemiology of Vocal Health in Young Adults Attending College in the United States
Hartley, Naomi A.; Breen, Ellen; Thibeault, Susan L.
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v59 n5 p973-993 Oct 2016
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to document typical vocal health characteristics (including voice-related activities, behaviors, and symptomatology) of young adults attending college and to determine lifetime and point prevalence rates of voice disorders. Method: Undergraduates at University of Wisconsin-Madison completed an anonymous online survey detailing vocal use, symptomatology, impact, sociodemographics, and voice-related quality of life. Univariate analyses and multivariate regression models isolated risk factors for lifetime and point prevalence rates of a voice disorder. Results: Vocal health and associated factors were analyzed for 652 students (predominantly 18-25 years of age). Lifetime prevalence rate of a voice disorder was 33.9% (point prevalence = 4.45%). Change in voice function (odds ratio [OR] = 2.77), seasonal or chronic postnasal drip (OR = 2.11), hoarseness (OR = 2.08), and restrictions to social activity (OR = 2.07; all p < 0.05) were identified as the strongest predictors of disorder. A total of 46% of students reported some form of voice problem in the past year, most frequently lasting between 1 and 6 days (39%). Voice usage in social and work settings exceeded demands in the classroom. Conclusions: Young adults in college frequently experience disturbances to vocal health; however, this is not usually perceived to interfere with communication. Relative weighting of risk factors appears to differ from older adults, highlighting the need for individualized evaluation and management, with reference to age-appropriate normative reference points.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (DHHS)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin (Madison)
Grant or Contract Numbers: R014336; R0112773; R0113508