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The Effects of Room Acoustics on Self-reported Vocal Fatigue: A Systematic Review

Published:January 19, 2023DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvoice.2022.12.024

      Summary

      Purpose

      The main objective of the present systematic review is to quantify the relationship between the room acoustics and self-reported vocal fatigue.

      Methods

      A comprehensive literature search and systematic review were conducted using PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Direct, Web of Science, EBSCO, and Scopus databases. Two inclusion criteria were defined: (1) description of a relationship between the room acoustics and self-reported vocal fatigue; and (2) reporting of raw data and/or a statistic of the association between the variables. Risk of bias in the included studies was assessed via the Quality Assessment Tool for Quantitative Studies Effective Public Health Practice Project. The occurrences and frequencies of the most common parameters in the literature are presented, and a quantitative summary of their relationships is reported.

      Results

      In total, 12 publications met the inclusion criteria. The most relevant measures of self-reported vocal fatigue were the Vocal Fatigue Index (n = 3), Vocal Signs and Symptoms Questionnaire (n = 1), and vocal fatigue visual analog scales (n = 2). The most relevant room acoustic parameters include noise conditions (n = 6) and reverberation time (n = 2). The relationships between the room acoustic parameters and self-reported vocal fatigue are quantified and reported while maintaining the concepts stated in the original articles and outlining their similarities.

      Conclusion

      Overall, background noise and reverberation time were determined to be the most significant independent variables associated with self-reported vocal fatigue. A primary limitation of the evidence was inconsistent measures of self-reported vocal fatigue.

      Key words

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