Relevant work factors associated with voice disorders in early childhood teachers: A comparison between kindergarten and elementary school teachers in Yancheng, China

Yaping Tao, Charles Tzu Chi Lee, Yih Jin Hu*, Qiang Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Early childhood teachers consist of kindergarten and elementary school teachers in the lower grades. Young children at school may increase the vocal load of these teachers. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of voice disorders and the associated factors in early childhood teachers, and to determine if differences exist between kindergarten and elementary school teachers. Method: A cross-sectional survey was performed in July 2019 as a network questionnaire. Through cluster sampling, teachers (n = 414) from all five public kindergartens (n = 211) in the urban area of Yancheng, China, and four public elementary schools (n = 203) in the same school district participated in this study. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to analyze the associations among the prevalence of voice disorders in the teachers, school type, and relevant factors. Results: Our results indicated, based on the Voice Handicap Index scale (VHI-10, China), that the prevalence of voice disorders in early childhood teachers was 59.7%, while that in elementary school teachers (65.5%) was significantly higher than that in kindergarten teachers (54.0%) during the previous semester. Contributing factors included daily class hours, classroom air humidity, and speaking loudly during teaching. Additionally, certain types of voice usage in teaching such as falsetto speak, speaking more than other teachers, not using vocal techniques, and habitual voice clearing, were significantly associated with voice disorders. Conclusion: Most early childhood teachers have voice disorders. Compared with the kindergarten teachers, the elementary school teachers experienced a significantly higher prevalence of voice disorders. Several factors among work organization, work environment, and types of voice usage in teaching were associated with the voice disorders in early childhood teachers. The finding suggests that voice training should be provided for early childhood teachers, classroom teaching time should be decreased, and the number of teachers in basic subjects should be increased in the lower grades of elementary schools.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3081
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume17
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 May 1

Keywords

  • Daily class hours
  • Network questionnaire
  • Types of voice usage
  • Vocal load
  • Voice Handicap Index

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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