SJWEH Supplements are open access, (mostly) non-peer-reviewed articles usually published in theme issues or as part of a series of papers from a conference or workshop. Scand J Work Environ Health stopped publishing SJWEH Supplements in 2009.

Original article

SJWEH Supplements 2006;(no 2):47-49    pdf

Indoor-air-related complaints and symptoms among hospital workers

by Hellgren U-M, Reijula K

Objectives The aim of this study was to assess the perceived indoor air quality and work-related symptoms among hospital employees in a national survey.

Methods Indoor-air-related symptoms were studied among hospital workers in a questionnaire survey in which employees (N=5598) from 10 central hospitals participated. The survey was based on the Indoor Air Questionnaire (MM-40) by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.

Results A total of 3811 employees returned the questionnaire (response rate 68%). The environmental problems most frequently reported were dry air (reported by 46% of the respondents), stuffy air (40%), noise (30%), draft (27%), and unpleasant odor (26%). The most common symptoms were nasal irritation (reported by 25% of the participants), hand irritation (24%), eye irritation (23%), and fatigue (21%).

Conclusions Complaints associated with dry and stuffy air, noise, draft, and unpleasant odors were more common in hospitals than in office environments. Irritation of the nose, hands, and eyes, as well as fatigue, were also experienced more often in hospitals than in office environments.