Voice Problems Among Further Education Teachers: A Small-Scale Study into Prevalence, Impact and Associated Occupational Risk Factors
(2016) Voice Problems Among Further Education Teachers: A Small-Scale Study into Prevalence, Impact and Associated Occupational Risk Factors, no. 80.
Much has been researched and written about voice problems within the teaching population. Teachers rely on their voices in order to communicate effectively, often for long hours in challenging conditions, which puts them within the high-risk group for developing voice disorders (RCSLT 2009). Currently much of the research has focused on schoolteachers, with very few studies being carried out on further and higher education teachers. This study investigates the findings of a self-reporting questionnaire, hosted by Bristol Online Surveys. The questionnaire was available to further education teachers at a Scottish College and members of the Association of Lecturers and Teachers (ATL), who fitted the inclusion criterion. 72 completed questionnaires were returned, and the information was then analysed using Microsoft Excel 2013. Trends between various demographic and occupational risk factors, and the self-reporting voice problems of the participants were reported and discussed. The findings of the study showed that FE teachers, like their counterparts in schools, do indeed have a high prevalence rate of voice problems. The implications of the findings have farreaching effects, not only for the individual teachers, but also their employers, pupils, and the SLT service in general. Results from this study will hopefully help bridge the research gap in voice problems amongst further education teachers, and add weight to the argument for a preventative voice-care program for teachers.