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Occupational Respiratory Symptoms in Museum, Archives and Library Workers

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  • 1. Occupational Respiratory Symptoms in Museum, Archives and Library Workers : A Cross-sectional Survey Güssün Güneş, PhD1, Zeynep Dörtbudak, PhD2 Koç University School of Nursing, Güzelbahçe Sok. No:20 D-Blok 34365 Nişantaşı Istanbul Turkey. 1 Health Sciences Librarian, ggunes@ku.edu.tr, (http://library.ku.edu.tr ) 2 Asst. Prof, Epidemiology &Public Health, zdortbudak@ku.edu.tr, Table II. Characteristics of the study population / Respiratory Table I. Characteristics of the study population /Work- related symptoms and allergies informationABSTRACT Variables Categories N % Variables Respiratory problems in the Categories N % Job description subjects (non-spesific)We have investigated indoor air quality related respiratory symptoms and job satisfaction in all 88 library, archives and museums in Librarian 74 27,9 -I have rarely or no problems Archivist 30 11,3 with my breathing 180 67,9Turkey that have been operational for at least 25 years, with minimum 4 employees. The study sample meeting the selection criteria Contract office worker l 32 12,1 -I frequently have problems with my breathing but it is Verification 12 4,5 readily reversed 27 10,2 Catalog-sortingconsisted of 21 institutions, 13 of which were in Istanbul. In a cross-sectional study, we mailed a total of 404 survey questionnaires, Periodicals 35 13,2 -I always have breathing problems 31 11,7 15 5,7 Blank 27 10,2job satisfaction (Bener, 1999) and SF-36 quality of life scales (Koçyiğit, 1999). Response rate was 66% (N=265). The survey Administrative 15 5,7 Total 265 100 Multimedia& IT 15 5,7 Wheezing Electronic librarian 4 1,5 No 50 18,9questionnaire contained 70 questions consisting of standardized respiratory symptoms questions, existing disease, environmental Book Binder 2 0,8 Yes 36 13,6 Total 86 32,5 Restorator 3 1,1 Blank 179 67,5factors, smoking, access to health services and demographic and job related information about the respondents. A physical Other staff 8 3,1 Total 265 100 Researcher Chest tightness and 3 1,1 breathlesnessenvironment evaluation form was also sent to each institution to assess air quality maintenance procedures, building characteristics, No Answer 17 6,4 No 50 18,9 Total 265 100 Yes 51 19,2 Total 101 38,1existence of mechanized clean air systems, if any, as well as the size and type of the collection. Only 6 out of 13 institutions reported Blank 164 61,9 Total 265 100 Chest tighnesshaving air conditioning.Humidity control was present in 2, dust control was valid for only 2. While all buildings reportedly had excess Duration of work N Min Max Mean sd No 50 18,9 Yes 35 13,2 (months) Total 85 32,1dust in shelves, work areas and reading halls, 12 instutions had routine cleaning services ranging from 1-7days per week. Mold and 251 2 432 136,71 92,355 Blank 180 67,9 Duration of Total 265 100 workday (hrs)humidity was reportedly a constant problem in 2 buildings. 88 subjects reported eye irritation, 36 reported respiratory symptoms, 31 255 3 14 7,86 1,185 Cough No 48 18,1 Yes 39 14,7 Time spent in different sections of the library during workdaysubjects reported skin irritation that they experienced in the work environment only. Half of the subjects reported nasal symptom in the Mean Total Blank 87 178 32,8 67,2 N hrs/day sd Totalabscence of colds (128). Chi-square tests of the above listed symptoms with various building and work-related characteristics, job Offices 163 6,9 1,865 Diagnosed Asthma 265 100 Archives 46 2,91 2,882 No 231 87,2 Stacks 44 2,77 2,391satisfaction and Quality of Life Scale points revealed no statistically significant associations with the symptoms; except nasal symptoms Reading area 56 4,24 3,245 Yes 29 10,9 Circulation/Desk Total 260 98,1 Reserve 38 Blank 5 1,9distribution among library and archives staff who spent <1 hour/day and those who worked more than 1 hour in the shelves, warehouse Multimedia 24 3,37 5,29 2,861 3,495 Total 265 100 Restoration 5 6,4 2,608 Current asthma medication useand restoration areas of the institutions. The latter experienced a statistically significant higher frequency of nasal symptoms ((χ2=6.204, Other 18 8,89 18,214 No Yes 80 12 30,2 4,5 Total 92 34,7df=1, p=.013). Subject who reported „other work-related health problems‟ were found to have a lower job-satisfaction than others, and 1 Blank Total 173 265 65,3 100 Table III. Eye irritation and allergies Asthma attack in the workthis difference was statistically significant (χ2=6.998, df=2, p=.030). Photo 1 & 2: Stacks,basement. University library with no place within last 12 months No 87 32,8 Variables Categories N % Yes 3 1,1 air conditioning, Ankara. Eye irritation, watery itchy eyes in the last Total 90 34INTRODUCTION 12 months No 126 47,5 Blank Total 175 265 66 100 Yes 123 46,4MATERIAL AND METHODS Don‟t know Total 254 5 1,9 95,8 Table IV/ Job satisfaction scale points Blank 11 4,2The study design was cross-sectional. We aimed to assess respiratory symptoms prevalence, demographic information, Gender f Min Max Mean sd Eye symptoms in the workplace No 71 26,8job statisfaction and quality of life in librarians and archivists in Turkey, using mailed questionnnaires and scales. Yes 88 33,2 Female 110 28,95 100,00 62,64 15,39STUDY SAMPLE Total Blank 159 106 60 40 Male 110 14,29 96,97 58,95 17,33We did a non-randomized sampling of all libraries and archives in Turkey. Out of 88 institutions, we included 21 libraries Total 265 100 Eye symptoms outside the work placeand archives that were founded more than 25 years ago and at least 3 staff employed. We mailed 404 packets of survey Table V/ Nasal allergies and time spent in archives No 72 27,2questionnaires to the libraries constituting the study sample. The number of respondents was 256. Yes Total 80 30,2 Nasal <1hr/d in >1hr/d in Total 152 57,4DATA COLLECTION INSTRUMENTS Blank 113 42,6 allergies archives and archives and Total 265 100Physical environment/ building assessment form: 36 questions including information about the collection, structural Current medication use basements basementsinformation, air quality control procedures, size of the collection. Only one copy of this form was sent to each institution ( No 88 33,2 Hayır 114 15 129 2 Yes 33 12,5 Evet 98 30 128N=21) Total 121 45,7 BlankSymptoms survey: 70 questions under 28 headings, including demographics, environmental factors, job related Total 144 265 54,3 100 Toplam 212 45 257information,smoking, symptoms and allergies, diagnosed disease, seosonal complaints, access to health services. All χ2=6.204, sd=1, p=.013, p<.05symptoms questions were further elaborated for occurance during work hours and with specific focus on time-exposure to Table VI/ Job satisfaction and `other health complaints`different sections of the building i.e. stacks, basement and archives. Asthma, asthma-like symptoms, respiratory allergies,skin irritation, eye irritation, chronic bronchitis, physician diagnosed illness, medication use and co-morbidity were assesed Other Low job Medium High job Totalin standardized question format. The questionnaire was developed based on previous symptoms surveys designed by the health satisfaction level job satisfactionhauthors as well as standardized international questionnaires. complaints satisfaction No 30 82 17 129. Yes 29 43 4 76Job satisfaction scale: A scale comprised of 41 questions, assessing the priority of itemized job-related conditions and Total 59 125 21 205whether they are satisfactory in the current work-place. The instrument was designed by Bener2 and used with his DISCUSSION χ =6.998, sd=2, p=.030, p<.05 2permission. The original scale was designed for nurses and included three questions that were not relevant to librarians. Preliminary exploration of some of the study variables is presented in descriptiveWe therefore excluded these questions and validated the instrument for librarians in the current 39 item form( KR- 3 format. This cross-sectional study aims to assess respiratory and allergic symptoms in20=0.694). Scale evaluated over 100 points, <50% low, 50-80% intermediate, >80% high level job satisfaction.Quality of Life – SF-36 ( Short Form 36) : Designed by Ware 3 and widely used in epidemiological studies for both Photo 3: Prime ministry, state archives, Istanbul. archivists and librarians in Turkey. We used a stratified sample to look at frequency ofhealthy and chronically ill populations , the reliability and validy of the Turkish version of this scale was published byKocyiğit et al4 in 1999. The scale consists of 36 questions in 6 dimensions including General health perception, pain, symptoms and associations with job satisfaction and time-activity in the workplace.physical function, social function, vitality etc. Scale points over 100 total for each quality of life function. Job satisfaction is observed to be low in this cohort . Bi-variate analyses of various symptoms did not present a statistically significant association with job satisfactionRESULTS although subjects who reported non-specified work related health problems didThe work environment present lower job satisfaction and this finding was statistically significant. We found aTotal number of respondents from 13 libraries and archives that constituted the sampling frame was 265 (F=116, M=122, no response=27). 79,7% of the respondentshad college or graduate degrees (N=211). Job related information about the study participants are shown in Table I. Of the 13 institutions, 10 were university libraries significant association with nasal symptoms and time spent in archives & basements .and archives, the remaining three were government archives. Only half the institutions had air conditioning, only two had humidity control. Dust control was done as The subjects that spent more than 1 hour per day in the archives and basementspart of daily cleaning, no particulate monitoring was done in any of the libraries, although five libraries reported a severe dust problem. Only three insitutions reporteda mold problem although a large number of the employees in the sample reported dust or mold exposure in the work place (N=161, 60,8%). reported more nasal symptoms and this association was statistically significant.Respiratory symptoms/allergies REFERENCESWe inquired about chest tightness, respiratory problems and allergies specific to complaints that occur in the workplace which cease at home. The distribution of the [1] Ataman, BK, Karabulut N/, “Arşivcilik Meslek Hastalıkları”, (occupational illness in archivists) http://www.archimac.org/BKACV/Articles/MeslHast.spml,above listed symptoms and problems which the subjects attribute to the workplace are elaborated in Table II. [2] Bener, S. (1999), “Hemşirelerin Mesleki Doyumu ve Genel Ruhsal Sağlığı Araştırması”. Hacettepe Üniversitesi Sağlık Bilimleri Enstitüsü, 1999, 107 s. [TR, “Job satisfaction and psychological status in nurses, Hacettepe University Health Sciences Institute”]} [3] Ware JE et al. (1993) SF-36 Health Survey: Manual and Interpretation Guide. Boston: New England Medical Center. [4] Koçyiğit, Hikmet et al.(1999), “Kısa Form-36 (KF-36)‟nın Türkçe Versiyonunun Güvenilirliği ve Geçerliliği: Romatizmal Hastalığı Olan Bir Grup Hasta ile Çalışma” İlaç ve Tedavi Dergisi, Cilt 12, s.102-106. [TR,” Short Form SF36, reliability and validity of the Turkish version on a study sample of arthritic subjects”] 5] Dörtbudak, Z., Prevalence of Chronic Bronchitis, Asthma and Asthma-Like Symptoms in İstanbul, Turkey, Yale University, 1999.

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