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Prevalence of Work-Related Voice Disorders in Voice Professionals: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

      Summary

      Objective

      To analyze the prevalence of work-related voice disorders (WRVD) among the voice professionals.

      Methods

      The study protocol was registered in PROSPERO (CRD42021250121). The search was performed in the Embase, Lilacs, Medline, SCOPUS, and Web of Sciences databases. There were no limitations to the year of publication and the search included observational studies which reported data on the prevalence of dysphonia in voice professionals measured through vocal complaints, vocal self-assessment, the auditory-perceptual judgment of the voice, and laryngoscopy examinations. The critical appraisal instrument for studies reporting prevalence data was used to analyze the risk of bias of the studies. Data analysis was performed using Jamovi and R software with a significance level of 5%.

      Results

      The initial search identified 561 articles, 73 of which were finally included and analyzed. The total number of participants was 63,126. Dysphonia was diagnosed in 45,996 participants based on a vocal complaint, 12,843 using vocal self-assessment, 1,254 using the auditory-perceptual judgment, and 1,683 using laryngoscopies. The prevalence of total dysphonia was 44.0 (95% CI 38.47; 49.69). The prevalence of vocal complaints was 43.9% (95% CI 37.37; 50.52), 42.5% (95% CI 28.57; 57.08) for self-assessment, 53.0% (95% CI 29.87; 77.19) for auditory-perceptual judgment, and 36.9% (95% CI 18.62; 57.08) for laryngoscopic examination. In the auditory-perceptual judgment, voice professionals in class 3 (moderate quality, high demand) had a higher prevalence of dysphonia than those in class 4 (moderate quality, moderate demand) (P = 0.04). In the auditory-perceptual judgment (P = 0.04), there was a higher prevalence of dysphonia in teachers than among other voice professionals non-teachers, and in the laryngeal evaluation, no differences were found between professionals (P = 0.8).

      Conclusion

      There was a high prevalence of dysphonia in voice professionals, especially in the detection by auditory-perceptual judgment. High vocal demand and being a teacher influenced the increase in the prevalence of WRVD.

      Key Words

      Abbreviations:

      SRM (Sistematic Review and Meta-analysis), WRVD (Work-Related Voice Disorder)
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