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Developing Educational Health Modules to Improve Vocal Wellness in Mask-Wearing Occupational Voice Users

Published:December 27, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvoice.2021.11.006

      Summary

      Objective

      To develop educational modules to improve vocal wellness and optimize communication in mask-wearing occupational voice users.

      Methods

      Module development focused on identifying accurate, understandable, and actionable steps to improve vocal wellness in the workplace. We i) interviewed eight voice-specialized speech-language pathologists and researchers on current speech and voice recommendations for mask-wearers, ii) developed educational content using the standardized Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool (PEMAT), iii) assessed the ability of nine mask-wearing community members to learn educational content, and iv) compared behavioral, acoustical, and perceptual changes in four mask-wearing healthcare professionals following educational training.

      Results

      We created three educational modules that described key vocal health and communication strategies, including microphone amplification, postural alignment, clear speech, hydration, vocal naps, and vocal warm-ups. PEMAT scores were 96% and 93% on understandability and actionability, respectively. Mask-wearing healthcare professionals increased use of 4 out of the 6 strategies following educational training and were able to retain information at rates >90% at 1-week follow-up.

      Conclusions

      We developed a set of free-to-use educational modules to promote vocal wellness among mask-wearing occupational voice users (see VSMechLab.com). Future work should examine the impact of these strategies on voice measures in a larger group of mask-wearing community members.

      Key Words

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