Daily Voice Regimen to Promote Healthy Ageing of Voice: An Extended Research Proposal
(2017) Daily Voice Regimen to Promote Healthy Ageing of Voice: An Extended Research Proposal, no. 118.
The deterioration of muscles and organs, which is part of the normal ageing process, also impacts vocal condition. Anatomical changes within the vocal organs during ageing lead to perceptual/acoustic variations such as changes in F0, increased perceived breathiness and hoarseness, and decreased loudness and maximum phonation time (MPT). The ageing voice may further develop presbyphonia or risk factors for other voice disorders such as hyper-functional vocal misuse. With the growth in the ageing population around the globe, increased focus need to be put on promoting good health and good quality of life for elderly individuals. A large area of focus has been on maintaining physical health through daily physical exercise. However, limited research has addressed how to maintain good vocal quality. While it has been found that vocal function exercise (VFE) and the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) improve the voice quality of elderly individuals, both exercises target the pathological state and are time consuming. Thus, a simple and practical voice regimen is required. In this proposal, a new daily voice regimen based on research evidence and elderly persons' opinions is introduced. A preliminary survey was conducted to collect the opinions of 45 elderly individuals. A pre-test/post-test control group design will be used to examine the effectiveness of the voice regimen within a wide range of acoustic parameters, namely fundamental frequency (F0), jitter, shimmer, noise-to-harmonic ratio (NHR), sound pressure level (SPL) and an aerodynamics measurement: maximum phonation time (MPT). Acoustic data and a qualitative questionnaire collected 6 months after the second data collection will be used to assess the long-term effect of proposed regimen. The study will contribute to increasing knowledge about the ageing voice for use in academic research and clinical practice. The findings will raise awareness of the need for voice care in the ageing population, while demonstrating an effective preventative programme to promote the healthy ageing of the voice. The preventative programme will not only contribute to a better quality of life, but will also provide a cost-effective plan for use in the National Health System.