Background: Approximately one-third of the global work force requires the integrity of the voice in order to work efficiently. Voice disorders often result in changes in vocal quality, loudness, and pitch. This disruption can inhibit an individual’s ability to communicate effectively. While voice problems of singers, professional speakers, and teachers, have been well studied, voice issues of pastors, priests, and other various clergy have not been extensively evaluated.
Objectives: The purpose of this research is to identify various factors that may place clergy at risk for voice disorders. The study will focus specifically on voice use, vocal habits, drinking habits, building acoustics, congregation size, whether amplification devices are generally used, and how many services per day/per week are performed. In addition, part of the questionnaire will include a validated screening index for voice disorders (SIVD) as to tool to allow quantification and stratification of risk across the study groups.