Prevalence and factors of vocal symptoms amongst school teachers in the United Arab Emirates: a cross-sectional study


  • Priyanka Naryani College of Medicine, Gulf Medical University, Ajman, U.A.E.
  • Sakina Khuzhaima College of Medicine, Gulf Medical University, Ajman, U.A.E.
  • Javairia Jamil College of Medicine, Gulf Medical University, Ajman, U.A.E.
  • Joudi Sharaf College of Medicine, Gulf Medical University, Ajman, U.A.E.
  • Safa Ubaid College of Medicine, Gulf Medical University, Ajman, U.A.E.
  • Anusha Sreejith Department of Community Medicine, Gulf Medical University, Ajman, U.A.E



Vocal symptoms, Teaching, Stress, Tonsillitis, Weather


Background: Teaching is an occupation that mainly relies on one to use one's voice as a tool. Hence, teachers are at a greater risk than most for developing a voice disorder. This study determined the prevalence and risk factors of vocal symptoms among schoolteachers.

Methods: A cross-sectional study including 318 teachers and a self-reported questionnaire was used to collect data over six months. The chi-square test was used to assess the association. Logistic regression was used to determine the degree of association. P≤0.05 was considered statistically significant. Informed consent was taken from all participants, and ethics approval was obtained from the International Review of Boards Committee.

Results: 77.4% of the teachers suffered from vocal difficulties during their teaching careers. Years of teaching, class size, and behavioral factors such as stress, exerting extra muscular pressure while talking, speaking in a loud tone, weather conditions, and health conditions such as tonsillitis were significantly associated with the prevalence of vocal symptoms in teachers.

Conclusions: The prevalence of vocal symptoms was found to be very high. It was directly proportionate to the number of years of teaching; behavioral factors such as talking loudly, being stressed while teaching, and applying extra pressure on the neck muscles and weather conditions all impacted acquiring vocal symptoms.


Roy N, Merrill RM, Thibeault S, Parsa RA, Gray SD, Smith EM. Prevalence of voice disorders in teachers and the general population. J. Speech Lang Hear Res. 2004;47(2):281-93.

Byeon H. The Risk Factors Related to Voice Disorder in Teachers: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019;16(19):3675.

Moy FM, Hoe VCW, Hairi NN, Chu AHY, Bulgiba A, Koh D. Determinants and effects of voice disorders among secondary school teachers in Peninsular Malaysia using a Validated Malay Version of VHI-10. PLoS ONE. 2015;10:e0141963.

van Houtte E, Claeys S, Wuyts F, van Lierde K. Voice disorders in teachers: occupational risk factors and psycho-emotional factors. Logoped Phoniatr Vocol. 2012;37(3):107-16.

Shoeib RM, Nassar JF, Ghandour HH. Anxiety in female teachers with dysphonia: correlation between the voice handicap index and anxiety state. The Egyptian Journal of Otolaryngology 2012;28:142-8.

Rossi-Barbosa LA, Barbosa MR, Morais RM, de Sousa KF, Silveira MF, Gama AC, et al. Self-Reported Acute and Chronic Voice Disorders in Teachers. J Voice. 2016;30(6):25-755.

Bermúdez de Alvear RM, Barón FJ, Martínez-Arquero AG. School teachers' vocal use, risk factors, and voice disorder prevalence: guidelines to detect teachers with current voice problems. Folia Phoniatr Logop. 2011;63(4):209-15.

Menon UK, Raj M, Antony L, Soman S, Bhaskaran R. Prevalence of Voice Disorders in School Teachers in a District in South India. J Voice. 2021;35(1):1-8.

Trinite B. Voice disorders in teachers: Prevalence, risk factors, psycho-social impact. Summary of the Doctoral Thesis Speciality Theoretical Medicine Riga. 2012.

de Sousa E, Goel HC, Fernandes VLG. Study of Voice Disorders Among School Teachers in Goa. Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2019;71:679-83.

Vertanen-Greis H, Löyttyniemi E, Uitti J. Voice Disorders are Associated With Stress Among Teachers: A Cross-Sectional Study in Finland. J Voice. 2020;34(3):488.e1-488.e8.

Hermes EG, de Oliveira Bastos PR. The Prevalence of Teachers' Vocal Symptoms in Municipal Network of Education in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. J Voice. 2016;30(6):756.e1-756.e7.

Colla CN, Andriollo DB, Cielo CA. Self-assessment of teachers with normal larynges and vocal and osteomuscular complaints. J Voice. 2022;12:S0892-1997(22)00105-9.

Chen SH, Chiang SC, Chung YM, Hsiao LC, Hsiao TY. Risk factors and effects of voice problems for teachers. J Voice. 2010;24(2):183-90.

Nallamuthu A, Boominathan P, Arunachalam R,Mariswamy P. A Peek into Contributing Factors and Impact of Voice Problems among Teachers in Chennai: A Bio Psychosocial Perspective. Indian J Public Health Res Develop. 2020;11:21-6.

Albuquerque Lopes MC, Fagundes SN, Mousinho KC, Correia MGC, Ribeiro CMB, Vanderlei AD. Factors associated with vocal health and quality of life in teachers/professors. Rev. CEFAC. 2018;20(4):515-31.




How to Cite

Naryani, P., Khuzhaima, S., Jamil, J., Sharaf, J., Ubaid, S., & Sreejith, A. (2023). Prevalence and factors of vocal symptoms amongst school teachers in the United Arab Emirates: a cross-sectional study. International Journal Of Community Medicine And Public Health, 10(12), 4560–4565.



Original Research Articles