Self-reported voice disorders of teachers and indoor air quality in schools: a cross-sectional study in Finland

Hanna Vertanen-Greis, Eliisa Löyttyniemi, Jukka Uitti, Tuula Putus

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    Abstract

    Objective: We aimed to study the association between self-reported voice disorders among teachers and indoor air quality in school buildings. Methods: We performed a questionnaire study of 538 Finnish teachers working in 67 school buildings utilizing both perceived and technical evaluations; the agreement between these two assessments was also studied. The technical assessment was provided by technical experts. Results: Teachers with voice disorders reported significantly more complaints from indoor air than those without voice disorders. The results also indicated a possible connection between the technical assessment and voice disorders. After adjustment for sex, stress and asthma, the prevalence of voice disorders was 47% higher in teachers working in renovated buildings compared to those working in the non-problem buildings (aRR1.47; CI 95% 1.11–1.95). The prevalence of voice disorders was 28% higher among teachers working in buildings with problems compared to those working in non-problem buildings (aRR 1.28; 95% CI 0.99–1.64). Discussion: In our study, poor perceived indoor air was significantly associated with self-reported voice disorders in teachers and there was an agreement between the perceived and technical assessments. Our results also indicated a possible connection between the technical assessment and voice disorders. Our results imply the need for longitudinal research with technical assessment to study the effect of renovation on voice disorders.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-11
    JournalLogopedics Phoniatrics Vocology
    Volume48
    Issue number1
    Early online date28 Jul 2021
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2023
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Keywords

    • complaints
    • indoor air
    • perceived
    • school building
    • teacher
    • technical assessment
    • Voice disorder
    • work environment

    Publication forum classification

    • Publication forum level 1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
    • LPN and LVN
    • Speech and Hearing

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