Previous reports focusing on the high prevalence of voice disorders in teachers have suggested that vocal loading might be the main causal factor. The aim of our study was to assess the prevalence of voice disorders in a sample of primary school teachers and evaluate possible cofactors. Our sample was composed of 157 teachers (155 females, mean age 46 years). Participants were asked to complete two selfadministrated questionnaires: one with clinical data, and the second an Italian validated translation of VHI (voice handicap index). On the same day they also underwent a laryngostroboscopic exam and logopedic evaluation. The results were compared with those of a control group composed of accompanying individuals. Teachers presented a higher rate of abnormalities at laryngostroboscopic examination than the control group (51.6% vs. 16%, respectively). Among these, 7.1% presented nodules. In our sample, vocal fold disorders were not correlated with years of teaching, smoking, coffee consumption, or levels of anxiety. Our findings are in agreement with previous reports on the prevalence of pathologic disorders among teachers; nonetheless, the prevalence of nodules was lower than in previous investigations, and voice loading was not correlated with laryngostroboscopic findings. Current Italian law does not include any guidance regarding voice education and screening in subjects with high vocal loading. Our work stresses the need for such legislation.
|Translated title of the contribution||Voice disorders in primary school teachers|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Acta Otorhinolaryngologica Italica|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|
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