Research Article| Volume 34, ISSUE 3, P488.e1-488.e8, May 2020

Voice Disorders are Associated With Stress Among Teachers: A Cross-Sectional Study in Finland

Published:November 03, 2018DOI:



      Voice disorders are considered to be more common among teachers than other occupations. However, epidemiological data are scarce and only a few researchers have studied stress as a risk factor in voice disorders in teachers. This paper presents data from a study on Finnish school teachers which investigated the prevalence of voice disorders and evaluated the risk factors for voice disorders, especially stress.

      Study Design

      A cross-sectional study was conducted among primary and secondary education teachers across Finland.


      Voice disorders were assessed with a seven-item voice questionnaire and stress at work was measured with a validated single-item question.


      The prevalence of voice disorders over the 12-month period was 54% in the sample of 1198 primary and secondary education teachers in Finland. Of the teachers, 81% were female, and they suffered more voice disorders than the males. Stress was the most significant explanatory variable with a 3.6-fold risk as regards voice disorders. The association between voice disorders and stress was even stronger than that of asthma, asthma medication, and allergic rhinitis, which are known to cause serious risks for voice disorders in general.


      Our results hypothesize that stress may be a multi-dimensional problem associated with various risk factors and result in an even more urgent risk of voice disorders in teachers than estimated. Longitudinal research is needed to investigate the causality between voice disorders and stress among teachers. In addition, it is recommended that in the occupational health care of teachers' consideration should be given to the fact that voice disorders and stress may have a multi-dimensional association.

      Key Words

      Abbreviations: CI (confidence interval), OR (odds ratio), VD (voice disorders)
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