Association between vocal problems and working time in public servants of a Federal University in Southern Brazil

Abstract Background Voice is an important means of communication and is considered a fundamental working tool. Due to physical and social interference, work can interfere with the quality of the voice and, consequently, with the life of the worker. Objective To investigate the association between thevocal problems and gender, work time, role performed and perceived stress among servants of a Brazilian federal university. Method This is an observational, transversal and quantitative study. The research participants were the effective servers that were active in the second half of 2016 of any of the campuses of the Federal University of Rio Grande. The evaluation instrument was sent by e-mail. The questionnaire was composed of questions that asked for demographic data and two standardized evaluations: Quality of life in voice and Perceived Stress Scale. The absolute and relative frequency were the descriptive analysis. The level of statistical significance was 5% for two-tailed tests. Results The sample was of 708 servers, (36.1% of the total). The prevalence of vocal problems was 24.3% (95% CI 21.1% to 27.4%). The vocal problems were more frequent in the servers that had been working for more than 10 years, mainly in males and administrative technicians. The results showed that individuals with higher levels of stress have fewer vocal problems. Conclusion It was concluded that there was a greater occurrence of vocal problems in servers with longer working hours and in individuals with lower stress level.