Characteristics of the Spoken Voice of Elderly Women with Choral Singing Practice
Introduction: Although there are several studies on the voice of the elderly, studies focusing on the effects of singing on the voice of elderly subjects, specifically on the spoken voice, are still needed.
Objective: To analyze the characteristics of the spoken voice of elderly women with choir singing practice.
Method: The subjects were 75 elderly women: 50 participants of senior choir groups (CG) and 25 engaged in activities not involving voice use or non-choir group (NCG). The groups were paired according to age, with mean of 71 years (standard deviation of 5.22). In order to characterize the subjects, a questionnaire composed of questions on socio-demographic data, daily life and well-being habits, and vocal aspects such as strains and changes perceived throughout time was conducted. The subjects were also asked to define their own voices in one word. The CG was especially asked about how long they have been singing, weekly hours of singing, and difficulties felt. Speech samples were collected and analyzed by three Speech-Language Pathologists specialized in the voice field, using the Consensus Auditory-Perceptual Evaluation of Voice (CAPE-V).
Results: The NCG had less water intake and physical activity practice, and significant increase of the scores related to the general grade and presence of roughness and tension in their voices.
Conclusion: The analysis of the spoken voice characteristics of elderly women singing in choirs, when compared to those who don't sing, evidenced better vocal quality.
Keywords: aging, voice, aged.