Research Article| Volume 34, ISSUE 3, P380-386, May 2020

Prevalence, Characterization, and Impact of Voice Disorders in Fado Singers

  • Pedro Melo Pestana
    Address correspondence and reprint requests to Pedro Melo Pestana, Av Eng Eduardo Arantes de Oliveira, no.5, 4740-204 Esposende, Portugal.
    University Fernando Pessoa,- Faculty of Health Sciences, Porto, Portugal

    PMP terapia, Esposende, Portugal
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  • Susana Vaz-Freitas
    University Fernando Pessoa,- Faculty of Health Sciences, Porto, Portugal

    Speech Pathology Unit of Otolaryngology Service, Centro Hospitalar do Porto, Porto, Portugal
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  • Maria Conceição Manso
    University Fernando Pessoa,- Faculty of Health Sciences, Porto, Portugal

    Fernando Pessoa Energy, Environment and Health Research Unit (FP-ENAS), University Fernando Pessoa, Porto, Portugal

    LAQV, REQUIMTE, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
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Published:November 20, 2018DOI:



      Fado is a genre of urban folk music from Portugal characterized by some particularities. Some indictions in the study point this population of singers to be at higher risk of developing voice disorders.


      This study aims to provide estimates of the prevalence of voice disorders in Fado singers, and to characterize the professional practice and the impact of voice disorders on their careers.


      This is a cross sectional study based on a self-administered questionnaire split into six parts and 55 questions.


      A gender-balanced sample of 111 singers was achieved. Most of them recorded at least once. Winter and spring were found to be the most difficult seasons in which to sing. The overall prevalence of self-reported voice disorders was 39.6%, significantly higher in females. Almost all sought clinical guidance. Vocal fold nodules, functional dysphonia, and vocal fold polyp were the most common diagnoses. Vocal fatigue and hoarseness were the main symptoms reported. Nearly half of the singers had to cancel shows due to voice disorders.


      Fado singers reveal both a relative high prevalence of voice disorders and related concerns, even though some discrepancies were found regarding other apparently similar singer populations. These results lead support the need for further investigation regarding the risk or protective factors influencing voice disorders.

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