The stability of office workers’ unspecific building-related symptom reports
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
The stability of reported unspecific building-related symptoms, or sick building syndrome (SBS) was investigated in this study. In Umeå and Vasa, two cities in northern Sweden and Finland, 172 subjects were asked about their symptoms in two questionnaires. The first contained questions about symptoms during the past three months, right now (when answering the questionnaire), and if any symptom ameliorated when they were not at their workplaces. Later on, all of the workers took measurements of their personal chemical exposure at work and at home during one week, and at the end of the week they were asked about symptoms during the week.
The stability of a case/control concept was investigated as well as individual symptoms. It was found that 67 % of cases and controls did not change class if classifications were based on answers on symptoms during both the past three months and the week of measurements. Corresponding proportions for general, mucosal and skin symptoms were 71 %, 71 % and 78 % respectively. However, measurement activities appeared to increase symptom reports; on average 43 % of controls reported symptoms compatible with the case definition and 53 % of individual symptoms during the week of chemical measurements were not experienced when asked about symptoms during the past three months. Classification of participants with atopic disease and those 41 years old, or younger, were least stable. Nausea/dizziness does not seem to be strongly associated with indoor air quality while other general symptoms, dry eyes and facial skin symptoms are often attributed to staying within the workplace building
Sick building syndrome, symptom reports, stability, office
Environmental Health and Occupational Health
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-30639OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-30639DiVA: diva2:285143