7th International Workshop on Models and Analysis of Vocal Emissions for Biomedical Applications (MAVEBA 2011)

Florence, Italy
August 25-27, 2011

Determinants of Voice-Related Symptoms and Complaints in Different Categories of Teachers: The Importance of the Psycho-Emotional Component

Philippe H. Dejonckere (1,2,3)

(1) The Institute of Phoniatrics, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
(2) Federal Institute of Occupational Diseases, Brussels, Belgium
(3) Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium

Voice problems have become a major occupational health issue within the teaching community, as they frequently result in work absenteeism and need for professional re-orientation. Four main risk factors have been identified: voice loading, general health condition, environmental factors and psycho-emotional factors (occupational stress and frustration).
   In order to specifically consider the 'stress' aspect, we investigated voice complaints and voice-related quality of life in the teachers of a special education setting: the national military academy for future noncommissioned officers, actually adolescents in the age 12 to 18. The outcomes were compared with those from recent reports about similar studies in common secondary schools in different european countries and in the usa. our results demonstrate that the specific military teachers' population considered in this study clearly shows significantly lower prevalence of voice problems than comparable teachers' populations in 'common' secondary schools.
   On the other hand, we investigated two specific groups of teachers supposed to have a heavier physical voice load than classical teachers: teachers of physical education and swimming teachers (in secondary schools). Concerning these two classes of teachers, the clear overall similitude with classical teachers provides a strong argument to consider that vocal load and environment is not the sole – or by far the most important – cause of voice complaints.

Index Terms. teachers, voice load, psycho-emotional complaints, stress.

Full Paper (reprinted with permission from Firenze University Press)

Bibliographic reference.  Dejonckere, Philippe H. (2011): "Determinants of voice-related symptoms and complaints in different categories of teachers: the importance of the psycho-emotional component", In MAVEBA-2011, 161-164.