The Voice and Health Literacy

Health literacy is the ability to find, use, and understand health information when making healthcare decisions. Under the leadership of Dr. Iris Feinberg at Georgia State University, my colleagues and I developed and produced a series of culturally and linguistically appropriate healthcare videos about patient-provider communication and women’s health. These healthcare scripts were researched and vetted by healthcare providers and then translated into over a dozen languages. (Amharic, Arabic, Burmese, Dari, English, French, Nepali, Pashto, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, and Tigrinya) I wrote scripts using plain language, collaborated with healthcare professionals, hired voiceover artists, and provided the voiceovers for the English videos and selected French videos.

When experiencing vocal trouble – issues with voice quality, pitch, or volume – or discomfort associated with vocalization or swallowing, it’s important to seek out an appropriate healthcare provider and advocate for yourself. This may be a team of voice care professionals that includes an ENT, a speech-language pathologist, and a singing voice specialist. This brief video on patient-provider communication may serve as a starting point for a productive discussion between you and your healthcare provider.

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