Impairment, disability, and handicap associated with hearing problems and voice disorders among Colombian teachers

Deficiencia, discapacidad y minusvalía asociadas a los problemas de voz y audición en profesores colombianos


Objectives: 1. define the occurrence of work-related hearing problems and voice disorders among teachers that have contacted the Colombian National Board of Disability Assessment (NBDA) for follow-up; 2. identify individual associated factors of hearing problems and voice disorders among teachers; 3. assess the limitations and restrictions due to hearing problems and voice disorders among these participants.

Methods: Retrospective study. The National Database of the Colombian NBDA was reviewed. Information on distributions of occupation, individual characteristics, and diagnosis code (ICD-10) was analyzed.

Results: Communication disorders among teachers that have contacted the Colombian NBDA for follow-up included voice disorders, with a prevalence of 51%, and hearing problems, with a prevalence of 7%. Female teachers who have contacted the Colombian NBDA for follow-up were 4 times more likely to be identified as having voice disorders compared with their male colleagues.

Conclusions: While teachers that have contacted the Colombian NBDA for follow-up have a high occurrence of voice disorders, hearing problems are more likely to be stated as a debilitating condition. One possible explanation is that teachers who contacted the Colombian NBDA for follow-up continued working even when many voice symptoms were evident, while hearing problems would prevent a teacher from interacting with students, thereby affecting the teaching-learning process sooner. Nevertheless, with both voice and hearing problems, work performance and social interaction is affected, and, therefore, quality of life is reduced.


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Citado por


Lady Catherine Cantor-Cutiva
Diana Elizabeth Cuervo-Diaz
Eric J Hunter
Marisol Moreno-Angarita


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