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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910

Abstract

SIMOES-ZENARI, Marcia; BITAR, Mariangela Lopes  and  NEMR, Nair Katia. The effect of noise on the voice of preschool institution educators. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2012, vol.46, n.4, pp. 657-664.  Epub June 19, 2012. ISSN 0034-8910.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102012005000038.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the association between noise levels present in preschool institutions and vocal disorders among educators. METHODS: Cross-sectional study conducted in 2009 with 28 teachers from three preschool institutions located in the city of São Paulo (Southeastern Brazil). Sound pressure levels were measured according to Brazilian Technical Standards Association, with the use of a sound level meter. The averages were classified according to the levels of comfort, discomfort, and auditory damage proposed by the Pan American Health Organization. The educators underwent voice evaluation: self-assessment with visual analogue scale, auditory perceptual evaluation using the GRBAS scale, and acoustic analysis utilizing the Praat program. To analyze the association between noise and voice evaluation, descriptive statistics and the chi-square test were employed, with significance of 10% due to sample size. RESULTS: The teachers' age ranged between 21 and 56 years. The noise average was 72.7 dB, considered as damage 2. The professionals' vocal self-assessment ranked an average of 5.1 on the scale, being considered as moderate alteration. In the auditory-perceptual assessment, 74% presented vocal alteration, especially hoarseness; of these, 52% were considered mild alterations. In the acoustic assessment the majority presented fundamental frequency below the expected level. Averages for jitter, shimmer and harmonic-noise ratio showed alterations. An association between the presence of noise between the harmonics and vocal disorders was observed. CONCLUSIONS: There is an association between presence of noise between the harmonics and vocal alteration, with high noise levels. Although most teachers presented mild voice alteration, the self-evaluation showed moderate alteration, probably due to the difficulty in projection.

Keywords : Caregivers; Voice Quality; Voice Disorders; Noise Effects; Noise, Occupational; Child Day Care Centers; Cross-Sectional Studies.

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