Download PDFPDF

Original research
Psychosocial factors and indoor environmental quality in respiratory symptom reports of pupils: a cross-sectional study in Finnish schools
Compose Response

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Author Information
First or given name, e.g. 'Peter'.
Your last, or family, name, e.g. 'MacMoody'.
Your email address, e.g.
Your role and/or occupation, e.g. 'Orthopedic Surgeon'.
Your organization or institution (if applicable), e.g. 'Royal Free Hospital'.
Statement of Competing Interests


  • A rapid response is a moderated but not peer reviewed online response to a published article in a BMJ journal; it will not receive a DOI and will not be indexed unless it is also republished as a Letter, Correspondence or as other content. Find out more about rapid responses.
  • We intend to post all responses which are approved by the Editor, within 14 days (BMJ Journals) or 24 hours (The BMJ), however timeframes cannot be guaranteed. Responses must comply with our requirements and should contribute substantially to the topic, but it is at our absolute discretion whether we publish a response, and we reserve the right to edit or remove responses before and after publication and also republish some or all in other BMJ publications, including third party local editions in other countries and languages
  • Our requirements are stated in our rapid response terms and conditions and must be read. These include ensuring that: i) you do not include any illustrative content including tables and graphs, ii) you do not include any information that includes specifics about any patients,iii) you do not include any original data, unless it has already been published in a peer reviewed journal and you have included a reference, iv) your response is lawful, not defamatory, original and accurate, v) you declare any competing interests, vi) you understand that your name and other personal details set out in our rapid response terms and conditions will be published with any responses we publish and vii) you understand that once a response is published, we may continue to publish your response and/or edit or remove it in the future.
  • By submitting this rapid response you are agreeing to our terms and conditions for rapid responses and understand that your personal data will be processed in accordance with those terms and our privacy notice.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Vertical Tabs

Other responses

  • Published on:
    Response to the Comments to the article by Savelieva E. et al “Psychological factors and indoor environmental quality in respiratory symptom reports of pupils: a cross-sectional study in Finnish schools”
    • Kateryna Savelieva, PhD, postdoctoral researcher University of Helsinki, Finland
    • Other Contributors:
      • Marko Elovainio, PhD, professor
      • Jussi Lampi, MD, PhD, researcher
      • Sari Ung-Lanki, MA, researcher
      • Juha Pekkanen, MD, PhD, professor

    Poor indoor air quality in schools is a major problem in Finland that has increasingly been assessed using questionnaires to parents and pupils on symptoms and indoor air complaints. The fact that other factors beside indoor air quality may influence symptom reporting has, however, been largely neglected in the ongoing discussions also in Finland. Previous research has clearly established that symptoms which accompany indoor air problems are associated with both physical characteristics of the building environment and various psychosocial factors (1–3). The majority of the studies, however, were conducted among adults in office settings (4–6), and very little research was done among pupils in school setting. Our study (7) was conducted to fill this gap and examine whether, in addition to indoor environmental quality (IEQ) in schools, different psychosocial factors and other pupils’ individual and allergic characteristics are associated with symptom reporting.

    The main message of our study is the following: where high levels of symptoms are reported, both psychosocial factors and physical characteristics of indoor environment should be fully considered in the decision-making process of the indoor air quality in school buildings. Our paper (7), as well as our previous research (8,9), clearly demonstrates that our current findings cannot be used as a justification for ignoring physical environment in indoor air research. Below we provide our responses to the specific...

    Show More
    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    Comments to the article by Savelieva E. et al “Psychological factors and indoor environmental quality in respiratory symptom reports of pupils: a cross-sectional study in Finnish schools”
    • Tamara Tuuminen, Specialist in clinical microbiology, Adj professor Kruunuhaka Medical Center

    In Finland, the problem of bad indoor air in schools and other municipal buildings is a matter of a continuous public debate that pops up frequently and discussed in media. The problem has been acknowledged officially1,2. Because the problem of mold-infested public buildings cannot be solved quickly due to inadequate financial resources to replace all the old buildings which life cycle has come to an end (built in early seventies) there is a need to find alternative explanations above that of an inadequate environmental quality. Psychologization of the problems experienced by pupils, children in day care units or occupants of hospitals3 and other municipal buildings4 is a strategy of denial. This strategy is the switching of the responsibility of municipalities to children or their guardians who have imposed neuroticism on their offsprings and aggravate worries about the indoor air.
    Any good study on the impact of indoor air on the occupant’s health is welcome. Each study should have an aim of solving the problems and should be ethical. The paper by Savelieva et al was widely publicized by the Finnish media 5-7. It was eagerly reported that health problems experienced by the pupils are not explained only by the indoor air but by the psychological factors (the word explained is bolded by us; see the translations of titles of the publications in the Finnish media 5,6). Further popularization of the results of the paper of Savelieva et al. resulted in the misinterpret...

    Show More
    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.