Teachers suffer voice problems: study

May 27, 2010

More than 60 percent of early childhood and primary education teachers experience voice problems, according to research from the University of Malaga in Spain.

A study of 282 teachers from 51 public education centers in the Malaga capital during the 2004-05 school year found 62.7 percent experienced voice problems on a daily or weekly basis, said a press release from the Madrid-based Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology.

Teachers speak for long periods of time and have to vary their voice based on classroom size, acoustics, air quality and change in temperature. Researchers said teachers with voice problems felt they had less support from colleagues and superiors, less control over decisions, less respect for their work and role conflict, the release said, noting that the combination of great effort and little reward can create stress. Researchers recommend institutional policies geared toward prevention to reduce the vocal and psychosocial health risks present in teaching.