Factors associated with speech, hearing and language disorders among children in a primary care outpatient center


  • Bárbara Niegia Garcia de Goulart Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2502-5883
  • Brasilia Maria Chiari Universidade Federal de São Paulo
  • Carlos Podalirio Borges de Almeida Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul




child, language, speech, hearing, speech disorders, speech therapy


Introduction: Appropriate communication behaviors are developed when the complex language processes are well-balanced.

Objective: To investigate the occurrence of hearing and speech disorders and their associated factors in children. 

Methods: Study based on interviews with secondary informants of 95 children of a waiting list  for a medical  consultant in a public pediatric primary care unit in a medium-sized city in southern Brazil. The interaction between the independent variables: gender, age, hearing complaints, bottle feeding and/or pacifier and number of siblings with the dependents variables: speech disorders and hearing impairment was verified. Data analysis included descriptive and analytical statistics (bivariate chi-square and Fisher's Exact test) with significance level at 5% (p ≤ 0.05). 

Results: Seventy-nine (83.2%) respondents reported that the child hears well, and 16 (16.8%) didn’t answer on this issue. The prevalence of oral breathing among respondents was 68.9% (62 children), 82,5% (52  children) had a history of breastfeeding and 22% (11 children) demonstrated signs of a speech disorder.  Of school-age children, 3 (12.5%) reported learning difficulties. Mouth breathing appears to be associated with speech disorders (p = 0.041). Sex (p= 0.3), age (p = 0.3) and pacifier use and/or bottle (p = 0.96, p = 0.33) were not associated with speech disorders. 

Conclusion: The prevalence of speech disorders in the children studied was 22%. The sex, age or suspected hearing impairment were not associated with the occurrence of speech disorders and/or hearing complaints in the children studied.

Biografia do Autor

Bárbara Niegia Garcia de Goulart, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul

Departamento de Psicologia Social e Institucional. Programa de Pós-Graduação em Epidemiologia.

Brasilia Maria Chiari, Universidade Federal de São Paulo

Departamento de Fonoaudiologia e Programa de Pós-graduação em Distúrbios da Comunicação Humana.

Carlos Podalirio Borges de Almeida, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul

Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciências Pneumológicas.


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