Voice disorders in teachers and the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF)

Trastornos de la voz en docentes y Clasificación Internacional de Funcionamiento, Discapacidad y Salud (CIF)


Introduction. Contemporary occupational diseases are increasingly expressed by function disorders, which include voice disorders, forcing workers to request a leave of absence from work and leading to an incapacity to perform their work activities. Teachers have the higher prevalence of vocal disorders among the professionals who use their voices professionally, which is reported as the second cause of teaching work absences in Brazil.

Objective. To analyze the environment and organization aspects of the teaching work associated with the development of voice disorder of teachers, according to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF).

Method. This study consisted of two steps. Initially, an integrative bibliographic review was performed to search for references related to the topic in the LILACS, MEDLINE and SCIELO databases, using the health descriptors "voice disorders" and "teachers". Then, the selected articles were read in full in order to identify the work factors associated with the voice disorder and compared with the theoretical framework of the ICF, in order to identify possible indicators of loss of functioning and capacity for teaching work resulting from voice disorders.

Results. The presence of dust and noise were the most prevalent environment aspects. In turn, the high demand for work and the lack of autonomy to perform the work were identified as factors related to the organization of the work of the teaching work, as well as stress at work and the presence of situations of violence at school as the most reported work absences.

Conclusion. As shown, the factors of teaching work described impact all components of functioning and lead to the incapacity of the teacher to work. The use of the ICF may contribute to systematize and quantify, in a standardized way, the loss of functioning and work capacity resulting from voice disorders, in addition to assisting in the development of public health promotion policies and in the prevention of vocal disorders in teachers.


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Susana Pimentel Pinto Giannini
Léslie Piccolotto Ferreira


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