Identifying Knowledge Gaps in Clinicians Who Evaluate and Treat Vocal Performing Artists in College Health Settings

Leah McKinnon-Howe, Jayme Dowdall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: The goal of this study was to identify knowledge gaps in clinicians who evaluate and treat performing artists for illnesses and injuries that affect vocal function in college health settings. Study Design: This pilot study utilized a web-based cross-sectional survey design incorporating common clinical scenarios to test knowledge of evaluation and management strategies in the vocal performing artist. Methods: A web-based survey was administered to a purposive sample of 28 clinicians to identify the approach utilized to evaluate and treat vocal performing artists in college health settings, and factors that might affect knowledge gaps and influence referral patterns to voice specialists. Results: Twenty-eight clinicians were surveyed, with 36% of respondents incorrectly identifying appropriate vocal hygiene measures, 56% of respondents failing to identify symptoms of vocal fold hemorrhage, 84% failing to identify other indications for referral to a voice specialist, 96% of respondents acknowledging unfamiliarity with the Voice Handicap Index and the Singers Voice Handicap Index, and 68% acknowledging unfamiliarity with the Reflux Symptom Index. Conclusion: The data elucidated specific knowledge gaps in college health providers who are responsible for evaluating and treating common illnesses that affect vocal function, and triaging and referring students experiencing symptoms of potential vocal emergencies. Future work is needed to improve the standard of care for this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385.e7-385.e15
JournalJournal of Voice
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinician knowledge gap
  • College health
  • Performing arts medicine
  • Vocal performing artist
  • Voice complaint

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Speech and Hearing
  • LPN and LVN


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