Teaching environments can influence performance and health of teachers. In Latin America little research was done to explore teaching conditions and health. The objective was to assess demands and barriers for teaching and work-related strain in school-teachers in Chuquisaca, Bolivia.Methods
Cross-sectional study was conducted in sixty randomly selected schools (August to November 2015). All teachers (1062) were invited to participate (response 56%).Methods
Teaching demands and barriers were explored through a set of questions previously used by UNESCO-OREALC (4-points Likert scales). Demands included sociocultural differences, indiscipline, learning problems, desertion, and repetition. Barriers explored about lack of student families and colleagues support, poor social and economic conditions, lack of pedagogical support and leadership of the director. A validated version of the irritation index (7-points Likert scale) was used to explore work-related strain (emotional and cognitive irritation). Scores for demands, barriers and irritation were added and dichotomized in lower (1 st and 2nd) and upper (3rd) tertiles.Methods
Crude and adjusted odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals for work-related strain were estimated through logistic regression models. Missing data was imputed using chained equations imputation method. Sensitive analysis was performed using imputed and non-imputed data.Results
Most of teachers were female (72%), in public schools (81%), exclusively in primary level (48%). About one-third of teachers (37%) have bachelor or postgraduate training (37%). Teaching in primary level (adjusted OR 2.21; 95% CI: 1.4 to 3.6) and high academic barriers (1.73; 1.1–2.8), were statistically significant risk factors for work-related strain. University graduated teachers had lower risk (0.6; 0.4–0.9).Discussion
Structural barriers seem to play an important role in work-related strain in teachers, while they are able to cope with pedagogical demands. Comprehensive actions need to be taken considering families and social resources in order to take care of teachers’ physical and mental health for a better performance.