Vocal Tract Discomfort and Voice-Related Quality of Life in Wind Instrumentalists
J Voice. 2018 May;32(3):314-318. doi: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2017.05.011. Epub 2017 Jun 7.
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to investigate vocal tract discomfort and quality of life in the voice of wind instrumentalists.
METHOD: It is a cross-sectional study. The sample was composed of 37 musicians of the orchestra of Caxias do Sul city, RS, Brazil. The participants answered a nonstandard questionnaire about demographic and professional information, the Voice-Related Quality of Life (V-RQOL), the Vocal Tract Discomfort (VTD) scale, and additional items about fatigue after playing the instrument and pain in the cervical muscles. Correlation analyses were performed using Spearman correlation test.
RESULTS: The most frequent symptoms mentioned by musicians in the VTD, for both frequency and intensity of occurrence, were dryness, ache, irritability, and cervical muscle pain, in addition to the frequency of occurrence of fatigue after playing. The musicians showed high scores in the V-RQOL survey. Several symptoms evaluated by the VTD had a negative correlation with the musicians' years of orchestra membership and with V-RQOL scores.
CONCLUSION: Symptoms of vocal tract discomfort are present in wind instrumentalists in low frequency and intensity of occurrence. However, these symptoms affect the musicians' voice-related quality of life, and they occur more in musicians with fewer years of orchestra membership.