​​Paper Presentation - Randomized Control Trial: Vocal Combat Technique for Video Game Voice Over Actors

Importance: Professional voice users are known to be at risk for phonotrauma, which impedes occupational functionality. Current vocal techniques to prevent, minimize, and recover from phonotrauma have not specifically been developed to retain functionality and realism for voice over actors who voice soundtracks for video games. Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of a direct voice therapy program for video game voice over actors—namely, Vocal Combat Technique—in: 1. reducing vocal fatigue and 2. preserving realism. Design: Prospective, double-blinded, randomized controlled study. Method: Twenty-four voice over actors (10 males, 14 females) were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 interventions: a) Vocal Combat Technique (VCT) or b) Vocal Hygiene Education (VHE). Pre- and Post- scores to measure vocal fatigue were collected for the Vocal Handicap Index (VHI), Evaluation of Ability to Sing Easily (EASE), and Vocal Tract Discomfort Scale – Frequency/Severity (VTDSF/VTDSS, respectively). A blinded industry professional judged all participants on realism and acceptability per industry standards. Result: Both groups were judged to be acceptable in preserving realism. Statistically significant differences were seen between groups in regards to change in EASE and VHI scores. No statistically significant differences were seen between groups in regards to change in VTDSF or VTDSS scores. Trends were seen within group outliers. Conclusions: The data suggest that VCT may help prevent, minimize, and recover from the impacts of phonotrauma while preserving occupational functionality for video game voice over actors. Data also support the superiority of direct versus indirect approaches for voice therapy. Further studies are needed to better identify “at-risk” subjects within this population.

Panel - ​Urgent care of the Professional Voice User

Financial Disclosure: Dr. Giliberto has no financial relationships to disclose. 

Non-Financial Disclosure: ​Dr. Giliberto is a member of the conference planning committee. He has no other non-financial relationships to disclose.

JP Giliberto, MD 

Dr. Giliberto has been a member of the University of Washington laryngology team for 3 years. Prior to joining the University of Washington, he was an assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati treating the full breadth of laryngology including voice, swallowing, and breathing disorders. He completed his fellowship training in laryngology at the University of Washington in 2016, after his residency in otolaryngology at the University of Cincinnati / Cincinnati Children’s program.

Dr. Giliberto's specific clinical interests include performance voice, medical laryngology (chronic cough, globus, and throat pain), open/endoscopic airway, and neurolaryngology. Dr. Giliberto is a member of the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, where he is actively involved in the Young Physician Section.

Dr. Giliberto is passionate about improving the user interface with information technology in the medical center through customization an optimization. He has been named the Assistant Chief Medical Information Officer for Surgical Services, and he is a member of the national Epic otolaryngology specialty steering committee. Specifically, his focus of electronic health record optimization involves custom procedure SmartForms and prospective automatic data collection to improve clinical documentation, billing, and research within the medical center.