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VIP: Voice Impact Profile
Stephanie Martin & Myra Lockhart
Speechmark Publishing, ISBN 086388 527 6
Review by: Annabel Bosanquet (Speech and Language Therapist), April 2006
The 'VIP' is an evaluation tool which looks at the potential impact of a number of specific factors on the voice. It consists of a questionnaire for the client to complete, the results of which are then transferred on to an instant visual profile. The profile sheet can be photocopied and in addition the results can be entered electronically, as a CD-ROM is supplied. The authors' aim was to design an evaluation tool which would provide not only an "individual profile of interest to client and practitioner" but also a means of providing "robust visual reinforcement of change over time"
The questionnaire contains ten different sections, each of which has ten questions with yes/no responses. It can be completed by the client within about fifteen minutes either prior to, or during the initial session. The replies are easy to collate on to a profile sheet and the visual profile can then be reviewed with the client. The ten sections cover: General Health, Vocal History, Vocal Health, Vocal Care, Vocal Demand, Vocal Status, Voice Geneogram, Anxiety and Stress, Social Functioning, Environment.
The sections showing a high level of positive response indicate that these may be areas of concern or vulnerability, though, as the authors point out, there may be a section with fewer positive responses initially which is more significant in terms of vocal impact. The client's perceptions may change over time and this can be demonstrated through the profile.
The simplicity and speed of administration mean that this evaluation tool might be used by anyone in a voice team; it is a valuable and non-threatening way of raising awareness of factors that might not otherwise have occurred to a client, thus paving the way for possible further exploration. The authors acknowledge that such questionnaires have limitations and recommend that the VIP be used in conjunction with other sources of information and data.
The advantages of this evaluation tool are that it enables the client to be in partnership with the clinician from the outset and it encourages the client to think about their voice in an integrated way early on in the process. The guidance for users is written with welcome clarity and provides an excellent résumé of issues relevant to voice. I would certainly recommend the VIP as an addition to any voice clinic, and to any individual clinician or voice coach.
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