Work-Related Determinants of Voice Complaints Among School Workers: An Eleven-Month Follow-Up Study Purpose We determined the natural course of voice complaints among school workers and established the risk factors associated with incidence and chronic voice complaints. Method We conducted a longitudinal study with an 11-month follow-up among 682 school workers. Participants filled out a questionnaire on individual and work-related conditions ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 01, 2016
Work-Related Determinants of Voice Complaints Among School Workers: An Eleven-Month Follow-Up Study
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lady Catherine Cantor Cutiva
    Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC–University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  • Alex Burdorf
    Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC–University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Lady Catherine Cantor Cutiva: ladyccantor@gmail.com
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Julie Barkmeier-Kraemer
    Associate Editor: Julie Barkmeier-Kraemer×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / School-Based Settings / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Articles
Research Article   |   November 01, 2016
Work-Related Determinants of Voice Complaints Among School Workers: An Eleven-Month Follow-Up Study
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2016, Vol. 25, 590-597. doi:10.1044/2016_AJSLP-14-0191
History: Received November 6, 2014 , Revised May 27, 2015 , Accepted April 10, 2016
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2016, Vol. 25, 590-597. doi:10.1044/2016_AJSLP-14-0191
History: Received November 6, 2014; Revised May 27, 2015; Accepted April 10, 2016

Purpose We determined the natural course of voice complaints among school workers and established the risk factors associated with incidence and chronic voice complaints.

Method We conducted a longitudinal study with an 11-month follow-up among 682 school workers. Participants filled out a questionnaire on individual and work-related conditions and the nature and severity of voice complaints. All participants who provided baseline data were contacted in the 11-month follow-up, if they were still working in the school. Short-term environmental measurements of physical work-related factors were conducted during visits at the workplaces. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine associations between work-related factors and voice complaints.

Results We found a high occurrence of chronic voice complaints, a low recovery of 22%, and an annual incidence of 44%. A self-reported high noise level at the workplace was associated with the incidence of voice complaints (odds ratio = 2.45). Self-reported poor acoustics in the classroom was associated with chronic voice complaints (odds ratio = 1.76).

Conclusions This unique longitudinal study among school workers presented some indications that self-reported high noise levels may contribute to the incidence of voice complaints, whereas self-reported poor acoustic conditions may be an important associated factor of chronic voice complaints.

Acknowledgments
The first author received a grant from the European Commission within the framework of the Erasmus Mundus Partnerships Programme Erasmus-Columbus and from the Departamento Administrativo de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación–Colombia within the framework of the Crédito Beca Francisco José de Caldas Scholarship Programme. The authors warmly thank the participants of the study. We thank various persons from the Secretaría de Educación Distrital of Bogotá (María Nancy Torres, Mónica Castilla, Ángel Zaadhy Garcés, and the head managers of the schools) for their support in the development of this research. Thanks also to the research team at the Universidad del Rosario with their many supporting roles (research assistants: Paola Quintero, Erika Mora, Mónica González, Lina Gacharná, Alcy Paola Campo, and Adriana Fajardo).
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