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Prevalence of Voice Problems and Associated Risk Factors Among Tamil-Speaking Imams

Published:December 13, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvoice.2022.11.022

      Summary

      Purpose

      Voice of Professional Voice Users (PVUs) are of particular interest to practicing Speech-Language Pathologists. There is a dearth of studies concerning the prevalence of voice disorders and the associated risk factors among Tamil-speaking Imams. We address this research gap using non-experimental survey research.

      Methods

      A questionnaire was framed by reviewing earlier literature. The derived questionnaire was administered to one hundred Tamil-speaking Imams actively involved in religious service in Tamil Nadu. We analyzed the obtained responses quantitatively and qualitatively. We also examined the effect of age on the prevalence of voice disorders and associated risk factors.

      Results

      Based on survey responses, the career prevalence of voice problems among Tamil-speaking Imams was as high as 89%, and the point prevalence was 64%. The general health status of the Imams were good. However, vocal health was not satisfactory. This study identified several factors that contribute to voice problems, such as constant use of loud voice, acid reflux, unhealthy vocal habits, and insufficient hydration. A positive aspect observed during this study was the absence of smoking and consumption of alcohol among Imams. Even though the Imams presented good awareness of the voice production mechanism, they reported not seeking medical help when facing a voice problem. Current findings report a minimal impact of age-related differences on associated risk factors for voice disorders among the Imams.

      Conclusions

      Voice disorders are prevalent among Tamil-speaking Imams. Several risk factors leading to voice disorders among these individuals need to be addressed.

      Key Words

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