‘I have had to stop singing because I can't take the pain’: experiences of voice, ability, and loss in singers with hypermobility spectrum disorders

Jeffery, T., Postavaru, G. I., Matei, R. and Meizel, K. (2021) ‘I have had to stop singing because I can't take the pain’: experiences of voice, ability, and loss in singers with hypermobility spectrum disorders. Journal of Voice. ISSN 0892-1997

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Abstract

Objective.   This study explored the voice experience, singing ability, and wellbeing of singers diagnosed with Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder (HSD) or hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (h-EDS).   Study Design.   This was a mixed-method study. A purposive sampling strategy was used. Data were collected via an online survey, using written closed and open-ended questions. Methods.   273 adults (18 - 60 years) completed the survey. This study focuses on a subset of professionally-trained singers (n=71). Responses elicited information about participants’ voice health and function, symptoms of hypermobility, singing experiences and training. Data were analysed using template analysis.    Results.   Many participants reported wide vocal ranges and enjoyment of singing but 74.6% of participants across all age groups experienced voice difficulties. Three common themes were identified: (1) ‘My unreliable voice’: The ups and downs; (2) Wider effects of HSD/h-EDS on singers, and (3) Need for acknowledgment and support. Conclusions.  Voice difficulties and hypermobility-related health conditions affected the participants’ abilities to sing and perform; this impacted their professional and personal opportunities, communication, relationships, and wellbeing. Our results indicate that symptoms of voice disorder worsen over time. We suggest practical strategies that singers and training providers could implement to support hypermobile singers. More research is needed to fully understand voice difficulties in singers with HSD/H-EDS and to inform tuition and support.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2021 Elsevier. This is an author accepted manuscript of a paper accepted for publication in Journal of Voice. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: Voice, Singing, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder, Qualitative study
Divisions: School of Social Science
Depositing User: Tracy Jeffery
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2021 12:13
Last Modified: 04 Jan 2022 14:36
URI: https://bgro.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/900

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