Objectives: The purpose of this study was to measure the objective and subjective vocal quality in women aged between 60 and 75 years. Secondly, the impact of a teaching or singing career on the vocal quality was investigated by comparing the vocal quality of retired women with different careers.
Study design: This is a case-control study.
Methods: Seventy-three retired women between 60 and 75 years (mean age: 67 years, standard deviation: 4.49) participated in the study and were divided into three groups: women with a teaching career (n = 21), choir singers with a singing career (n = 12), and women with a non-vocal career (n = 40). All subjects underwent the same assessment protocol consisting of objective (aerodynamic, maximum performance, vocal range, acoustic measurements, and the Dysphonia Severity Index) and subjective (the Voice Handicap Index, auditory-perceptual evaluations by three listeners) voice measurements.
Results: In all three groups, objective and perceptual voice analysis showed a mild dysphonia. No differences in the Dysphonia Severity Index were found between the three groups. The voices of choir singers with a singing career were perceived significantly less rough than voices of the women with a non-vocal career. Additionally, the lowest frequency of the frequency range was significantly lower in the retired teachers and choir singers than in the controls.
Conclusion: The results of this study prudently suggest that a singing or a teaching career compared with a non-vocal career has a positive impact on the vocal frequency range, and that singing has a positive impact on the perceptual vocal quality of the older female voice.
Keywords: Aging; Careers; Singing; Teaching; Voice.
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