Communication problems among teachers and noise conditions… hearing difficulties also matters!

Lady Catherine Cantor Cutiva, Pasquale Bottalico, Alex Burdorf, Eric J. Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous studies on the influence of noise in the classroom on the hearing function of teachers have primarily focused either on physical education teachers or music teachers. However, the influence of classroom noise on hearing difficulties among teachers is largely unknown. The aim of this study was to assess the association between classroom noise levels and self-reported classroom acoustics with self-reported hearing impairments among teachers. In 12 public schools in Bogotá, we conducted a cross-sectional study among 621 Colombian teachers at 377 workplaces. Teachers filled out a questionnaire on individual and self-perceived noise conditions inside the classroom along with perception of their hearing impairments. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine associations between background noise levels and self-reported hearing impairment. High noise levels in the surroundings of schools (Odds ratio [OR] 2.15; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.25-3.68) was associated with self-reported hearing impairments, but self-reported classroom noise showed no association (Odds ratio [OR] 1.34; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.91-1.99). This study indicates that noise in schools may play a role in self-reported hearing impairments among teachers.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3481-3481
JournalThe Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


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