Work-related voice disorder

Braz J Otorhinolaryngol. Mar-Apr 2015;81(2):202-11. doi: 10.1016/j.bjorl.2014.03.003. Epub 2014 Oct 23.


Introduction: Dysphonia is the main symptom of the disorders of oral communication. However, voice disorders also present with other symptoms such as difficulty in maintaining the voice (asthenia), vocal fatigue, variation in habitual vocal fundamental frequency, hoarseness, lack of vocal volume and projection, loss of vocal efficiency, and weakness when speaking. There are several proposals for the etiologic classification of dysphonia: functional, organofunctional, organic, and work-related voice disorder (WRVD).

Objective: To conduct a literature review on WRVD and on the current Brazilian labor legislation.

Methods: This was a review article with bibliographical research conducted on the PubMed and Bireme databases, using the terms "work-related voice disorder", "occupational dysphonia", "dysphonia and labor legislation", and a review of labor and social security relevant laws.

Conclusion: WRVD is a situation that frequently is listed as a reason for work absenteeism, functional rehabilitation, or for prolonged absence from work. Currently, forensic physicians have no comparative parameters to help with the analysis of vocal disorders. In certain situations WRVD may cause, work disability. This disorder may be labor-related, or be an adjuvant factor to work-related diseases.

Keywords: Disfonia; Dysphonia; Legislation as topic; Legislação como assunto; Medicina do trabalho; Occupational medicine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Brazil
  • Dysphonia / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Occupational Medicine / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Risk Factors
  • Voice Quality