AN INVESTIGATION ON OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES AMONG TEACHERS IN SILIVRI, ISTANBUL
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Objective: Teachers, who account for the largest group among public employees (728,048 people) are exposed to many causes of occupational diseases. This study aims to identify the frequency of health problems related with occupational and working conditions of teachers in Silivri district of Istanbul. Material and Method: The study has been conducted as a cross-sectional study at Istanbul University Community Medicine Practice and Research Center (Silivri) between October 2007 and February 2008. 89.7%(n=689) of primary education teachers in the region have been contacted and their socio-demographic characteristics, sufferings in the last 30 days (Subjective Health Suffering Query Scale), how they associate these sufferings with their work, their stresses [General Health Questionnaire 28 (GHQ-28)] have been interrogated. Their sole collapses have been measured with podoscope and Pulmonary Function Tests (PET.) have been measured with portable spirometry. Results: The average age of a teacher is 35.22 +/- 8.83 years, average employment period is 12.02 +/- 8.64 years; 50.2%(n=346) are male and 48.9%(n=343) are female. 39.1%of the teachers are currently smoking. The most commonly observed sufferings of teachers are headache (56.7%), backache (55.0%), and foot pain during physical activities (50.8%) and hoarseness. Teachers' ratio of being under stress has been measured as 50.9%(n=351) according to GHQ- 28. This ratio has been calculated as 46.8% (n=162) for men, and 55.1%(n=189) for women (p=0.03). 55.5%(n=136) of class teachers, 50.5%(n=199) of branch teachers, 32.0%(n=16) of administrators have been found under stress (p=0.01). "Managing students' behaviors and education" is the most commonly expressed source of stress. 22.9%(n=158) of participants have been diagnosed with "sole collapse" (pes Manus) through podoscope. The evaluation of PET and interview results by chest disease specialist revealed that 128 of the 639 teachers (20%) who could successfully perform PET had obstruction in the respiratory tract. Conclusion: Teachers are the primary professional group for whom protective protocols must be developed for the health problems that depend on occupational exposure/health, as they also constitute examples for students.