Fellman & Simberg (2017): Prevalence and Risk Factors for Voice Problems Among Soccer Coaches
I: Journal of Voice, Online first
Daniel Fellman og Susanna Simberg
The prevalence of voice problems has been investigated in various occupations, but research investigating sports coaches' voice problems seems to be limited even if coaches are an occupational group whose work requires heavy voice use. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of voice problems among soccer coaches and identify risk factors that can contribute to the problems.
The data were collected with a web questionnaire that was sent to 500 soccer coaches. Overall, 109 male coaches, who practiced soccer coaching to various extents, responded to the questionnaire. The presence of six vocal symptoms was investigated, as well as environmental factors and health-related factors that may have an influence on the voice.
The results showed that the prevalence of voice problems among soccer coaches was high. In total, 28.4% of the participants reported two or more frequently occurring vocal symptoms. The most common symptom was throat clearing or coughing followed by voice becomes low or hoarse. The coaches who had vocally demanding main occupations alongside their coaching tasks had an increased risk for voice problems. Moreover, a significant association was found between chronic rhinitis and frequently occurring vocal symptoms, as well as between stress and frequently occurring vocal symptoms.
Given the extent of voice problems and the fact that soccer coaches have a vocally demanding occupation, it would be important to increase the awareness of voice use among this group. Soccer coaches are in immense need of more information about voice ergonomics during their coaching education.