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

  • Vertanen-Greis, Hanna1
  • Löyttyniemi, Eliisa2
  • Uitti, Jukka3
  • 1 Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Finland)
  • 2 Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland. , (Finland)
  • 3 Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland; Clinic of Occupational Medicine, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland. , (Finland)
Published Article
Journal of voice : official journal of the Voice Foundation
Publication Date
Nov 02, 2018
DOI: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2018.08.021
PMID: 30396701


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. 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. Copyright © 2018 The Voice Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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