Prevalence of Vocal Fatigue Due to the Use of Facial Protective Gear in Teaching Medical Professionals

Shreya A. Bhat, Suja Sreedharan, Radish Kumar Balasubramanium, K. V. Apoorva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since the COVID-19 pandemic, masks have become far more widely used by doctors and are now commonplace in the hospital, with many professionals still wearing them for extended amounts of time. Emerging literature describing numerous mask-related difficulties prompted the authors to conduct a study aimed at assessing the self-perceived impact on voices of teaching doctors due to facial protective gear. In this study carried out from October 2021 to March 2022, data was gathered from 170 pre-, para-, and clinical professionals who were involved in offline teaching. Over half of teaching medical professionals were found to be vocally fatigued. Pre and para-clinical professionals have greater vocal tiredness and avoidance than clinical doctors (p = 0.016). The type of mask used does not make a significant difference in degree of vocal fatigue. Individuals with lingering respiratory difficulties following COVID-19 were significantly more vocally fatigued than their recovered peers (p value for tiredness and avoidance = 0.010). Thus, teaching doctors are at risk of impaired quality of life due to vocal fatigue. Further research on vocal habits and rest practices in the study population may help identify the most effective interventions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIndian Journal of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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