Applying New Frameworks to Vocal Fatigue

Date

2022-03-03

Authors

Collom, Zeth Everick

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Abstract

Occupational voice users are particularly susceptible to voice problems and voice disorders associated with vocal hyperfunction. Vocal fatigue can be particularly troublesome to teachers and performers as an independent symptom or an element of more significant voice disorder. Vocal fatigue lacks a specific, empirical definition although numerous attempts have been made. One approach attempts to define vocal fatigue as a physiological consequence. Exercise principles and related topics have been applied to define vocal fatigue. In addition, numerous studies have been conducted to identify specific laryngeal function measures that correlate with reports of vocal fatigue with mixed results. Other reports have implied that vocal fatigue is primarily a patient-reported phenomenon, relying heavily on self-report and perception of various degrees and elements. Recently, Hunter and several experts collaborated to develop new descriptions of relevant terms and concepts pertaining to vocal fatigue. Based upon literature review, expert opinion, and linguistic modeling, terms were proposed and defined. In this new description of vocal fatigue, a clinical framework consisting of "vocal demand", "vocal demand response", "vocal effort", and "vocal fatigue" emerged. As vocal fatigue remains prevalent in multiple cases of voice disorders in several populations, this new description and framework can be applied to clinical cases to better assess and treat patients in clinical practice. This presentation discusses past definitions of vocal fatigue, introduces Hunter et al.'s (2020) new definitions and framework pertaining to vocal fatigue, and applies these concepts to two case studies from clinical voice practice at the WT Speech and Hearing Clinic.

Description

Case studies, pre- and post-treatment

Keywords

2022 Faculty Research Poster Session and Research Fair, West Texas A&M University, Department of Communication Disorders, Poster, Vocal hyperfunction

Citation

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