Study explores impact of COVID-19 on singers’ vocal function

Published on December 7, 2022

The first international multi-language study examining the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 in adult singers was published in the Journal of Voice by researchers from the Janette Ogg Voice Research Center at Shenandoah Conservatory and epidemiologists Christine Petersen and Kurayi Mahachi of the University of Iowa Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases. An ahead-of-press manuscript is available.

This online survey examined singers (n = 1,153) in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia, and Europe who contracted SARS-CoV-2. The survey was made available in English, Portuguese, Spanish, and Traditional and Simplified Mandarin Chinese. Survey questions included demographics, peri- and post-SARS-CoV-2 infection symptoms, and self-reported sequelae attributed to long-COVID. Data were statistically analyzed to provide a useful summary of the sample and to evaluate associations between long-COVID and singers’ vocal function. Findings indicated that age, gender, and vaccination status were not significantly correlated to a change in singing voice, but severity of infection correlated to a change in singing. 

Of the 34 signs and symptoms presented, lingering cough, shortness of breath, and chronic fatigue were significantly correlated with a change in singing voice. These data and their analyses have added to our understanding of this growing population’s unique vocal needs, and may inform strategies for singing voice habilitation in COVID-19 survivors.