Preliminary results of a computer-assisted vocal load test with 10-min test duration

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2011 Feb;268(2):309-13. doi: 10.1007/s00405-010-1428-3. Epub 2010 Nov 24.


Nowadays, many occupations require a high vocal loading capacity. Therefore, it becomes increasingly important to have suitable test procedures for the vocal load, which can be executed with a low personnel and temporal expenditure. Patients with decreased vocal loading capacity were distinguished from test persons free of voice complaints with a 15-min test. It should be examined whether the test duration can be further shortened by an increase in the demanded vocal intensity. Sixty two persons underwent a vocal load test (VLT) of 10 min: in each case, 1 min in the volumes 75 dB(A) and 80 dB(A). Volume and fundamental frequency were measured real time. Before and directly after vocal load, as well as after a 30-min voice rest, the Goettingen hoarseness diagram was executed for the objective judgment of vocal quality. Besides, every person assessed himself on the bases of the Voice Handicap Index (VHI 12) and a questionnaire on the subjective state before the examination and after the VLT. The test could be mastered by all participants, patients and test persons, and was evaluated by all as tiring. However, we could not distinguish persons who indicated a decreased vocal maximum stress in everyday life from persons without vocal complaints using the shorter test with higher load, which was possible in the 15-min test pattern. A shortening of the test duration to 10 min for an examination of the vocal loading capacity is not possible, in spite of raised vocal load. It was proved in this study that a reliable distinction between patients and test persons was not possible using the 10-min vocal load test. A reliable statement concerning the permanent capacity of the voice cannot be made. Further scientific investigation in the important field of vocal load diagnostics is required.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Hoarseness / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Speech Acoustics*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Voice Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Voice Quality
  • Young Adult