Newswise — American Idol contestants, beware " singers who don't get paid to perform are also less likely to recognize subtle changes in their voices that can indicate serious vocal problems. The results are reported in a new study that attempts to identify specific factors that influence how singers perceive the impact of voice problems on their lives.

The findings, presented at the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation's Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO in Washington, DC, indicate that how a patient experiences a voice problem is a subjective experience. Researchers administered the Singing Voice Handicap Index (SVHI) to 171 singers whose singing style ran the spectrum of musical tastes, including country, rock, pop, and gospel.

The SVHI is a tool for assessing voice handicaps that result from singing voice problems, and is used for identifying predictors of patient-perceived singing voice handicaps. The type of diagnosis and length of time patients had voice symptoms also influenced the level of the singing voice handicap.

The authors discovered that singers older than 50 scored higher (worse) on the SVHI than their younger peers; amateurs scored worse than professionals, while singing teachers also scored worse than professionals. Finally, those identifying themselves as gospel singers had worse scores than non-gospel singers.

The authors believe knowing the factors associated with greater voice handicap allows specific singing groups to be targeted for intervention (through vocal health and prevention programs). Furthermore, a comparison of different treatments (both surgical and non-surgical) is needed to maximize the management and outcomes of singing patients.

Title: Factors Associated with Perception of Singing Voice Problems Authors: Seth M. Cohen, MD MPH, Jacob Pieter Noordzij, MD, Robert H. Ossoff, DMD MD, C. Gaelyn Garrett, MD Date: Wednesday, September 19, 2007, 8:44 AM - 8:52 AM

Information for the Media: The AAO-HNS Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO newsroom will be located in Registration East, Street Level of the Washington, D.C. Convention Center. Hours of operation: Saturday, September 15, 12 PM to 5 PM; Sunday - Tuesday, September 16 -18, 7:30 AM to 5 PM; and Wednesday, September 19, 7:30 AM to 2PM. The newsroom serves as a work space for credentialed members of the media and credentialed public relations staff. The newsroom is managed and staffed by the AAO-HNS Communications Unit. Please see the AAO-HNS website for media credentialing requirements for the event -

About the AAO-HNSThe American Academy of Otolaryngology " Head and Neck Surgery (, one of the oldest medical associations in the nation, represents more than 12,000 physicians and allied health professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the ears, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck. The Academy serves its members by facilitating the advancement of the science and art of medicine related to otolaryngology and by representing the specialty in governmental and socioeconomic issues. The organization's mission: "Working for the Best Ear, Nose, and Throat Care."

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2007 AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO