alexa Epidemiology of voice disorders in teachers and nonteachers in Brazil: prevalence and adverse effects.


Journal of Speech Pathology & Therapy

Author(s): Mara Behlau

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PURPOSE: This epidemiological study compared the frequency and adverse effects of voice disorders in Brazilian teachers and nonteachers. METHODS: A standardized interview/questionnaire was administered to 3,265 participants; 1,651 teachers; and 1,614 nonteachers recruited from all 27 Brazilian states. RESULTS: Prevalence of reporting a current voice disorder was 11.6% for teachers and 7.5% for nonteachers, respectively (χ2(1)=16.1, P<0.001). Sixty-three percent of teachers and 35.8% of nonteachers reported having experienced a voice problem at some point during their lifetime (χ2(1)=246.6, P<0.001). Teachers reported a higher number of current (3.7) and past (3.6) voice symptoms as compared with nonteachers (1.7 current, 2.3 past) and more often attributed these symptoms to their occupation (P<0.001). Teachers, as compared with nonteachers (1) more frequently reported that their voice limited their ability to do certain tasks within their current occupation (29.9% of teachers vs 5.4% of nonteachers; P<0.001); (2) experienced more voice-related absenteeism over the past year (12.1% of teachers missed 5 or more days of work vs 2.4% of nonteachers; P<0.001); and (3) more often considered changing occupations in the future because of voice problems (16.7% of teachers vs 0.9% of nonteachers; P<0.001). The magnitude of voice-related dysfunction among teachers was similar across Brazilian states, and regional characteristics did not appear to significantly influence the results. CONCLUSION: This large epidemiological study comparing teachers and nonteachers confirms that teaching at school is a high-risk occupation for developing voice disorders. These voice disorders contribute to reduced job performance, attendance, and force many Brazilian teachers to consider changing occupations in the future because of their voice

This article was published in Voice and referenced in Journal of Speech Pathology & Therapy

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