Date of Award

5-2006

Level of Access

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Advisor

Allan B. Smith

Second Committee Member

Nancy E. Hall

Third Committee Member

John C. Sherblom

Abstract

K-12 teachers are known to be at a higher than average risk for developing voice disorders. Less is known about the prevalence of voice disorders among teaching faculty in higher education. In this study, 100 university teaching faculty members were interviewed to assess possible voice problems. Information on risk factors such as demographic variables (i.e. gender and age) and health and behavioral variables (i.e. illness, use of tobacco, alcohol, and medications) was also gathered. The results were compared to published data on K-12 teachers and non-teachers. University professors reported significantly more cases of voice disorders than non-teaching professionals, but significantly fewer cases than K-12 teachers. With such an elevated prevalence, it is important to continue research on this population. Such research could assist in creating eventual preventative measures, and have a substantial effect on the productivity and quality of life of university teaching faculty.

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