Research Article| Volume 27, ISSUE 5, P595-602, September 2013

Voice Handicap Index Associated With Common Mental Disorders in Elementary School Teachers

  • Luise Marques da Rocha
    Address correspondence and reprint requests to Luise Marques da Rocha, Universidade Católica de Pelotas, Rua Gonçalves Chaves, 373 sala 411C, 96010-280 Centro, Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
    Postgraduate Program in Health and Behavior, Universidade Católica de Pelotas, Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
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  • Luciano Dias de Mattos Souza
    Postgraduate Program in Health and Behavior, Universidade Católica de Pelotas, Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
    Search for articles by this author



      To verify the relationship between common mental disorders (CMDs) and the Voice Handicap Index (VHI) in elementary school teachers from municipal schools. The VHI mean scores in the group of teachers with symptoms of mental disorder were significantly higher than those in the group of teachers with no symptoms in the total scores of three subscales: disability (functional domain), handicap (emotional domain), and impairment (organic domain).


      An observational cross-sectional, quantitative study was conducted in the public schools of urban and rural areas of the city of Pelotas.


      A total of 575 teachers participated. Vocal handicap was measured using VHI, producing a total score and three subscales, including emotional, functional, and organic domains. The Self-Reporting Questionnaire, 20 items scale was used to measure mental disorder symptoms. A log transformation was used, followed by linear regression, to evaluate the relationship between the independent variables and the outcomes.


      Teachers with CMD symptoms and who took a sick leave from teaching because of voice problems obtained the lowest scores in VHI (P<0.050). Emotional, functional, and organic voice handicap scores were significantly higher in teachers with CMD symptoms (P<0.001).


      A close association between voice problems and mental disorders was identified based on the statistically significant association between high levels of voice handicap and the mental disorders.

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