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Masters Degrees (Behavioural Medicine)

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    Stress and the sick building syndrome : biopsychosocial health-related variables affecting workers employed in urban places where live or discotheque musical entertainment is provided.
    (1995) Shadwell, Anthony.; Van Niekerk, W. C. A.; Schlebusch, Lourens.
    This is the first time that multidisciplinary research has been conducted in South African music venues. The study investigated biopsychosocial health-related variables affecting workers in music venues giving special attention to sick building syndrome. Monitoring methodologies developed for this investigation can be applied in studies of a wide range of workplace environments. This study also resulted in the design of a questionnaire which provided interpretable data within statistical significance limits. The literature review fully describes the multidisciplinary nature of this research. Long established non-smoking offices were selected as controls. An environmental monitoring system was designed to record conditions whilst questionnaires on staff perceptions were personally administered. Psychosocial variables included job satisfaction, self-esteem, personal confidence and social interaction.Environmental comfort assessments included lighting, carbon dioxide, movement, temperature, relative humidity levels and air movement. Pollution impact monitoring involved noise, respirable aerosols, benzene, toluene, xylene, benzo(a)pyrene, total volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds. Comfort criteria were exceeded in all music venues which caused stress. Only 21,1% of respondents did not experience tiredness. Respiratory infection was higher in music venue staff than in office staff. Average age of staff in music venues was 25 years and 67,37% were smokers. Certain smokers were experiencing discomfort from tobacco smoke pollution. Tobacco smoke impact was demonstrated: mean benzene level for music venues was 12,9 u/m3 (maximum 42,44 u/m3) and in offices it was 0,606 u/m3 (maximum 1,24 u/m3). Multivariate models for sick building syndrome and allergies included tobacco smoke odour concern and the tobacco smoke indicators, xylene and toluene. Aerosol levels were 1,75 mg/m3 (maximum 45,98 mg/m3 ) in music venues compared to an office mean of 0,02 mg/m3 (maximum 0,58 mg/m3 ). Contributors were tobacco smoke and theatrical smoke. Burning eyes was the symptom causing most concern for 57,89% of respondents. Symptoms that affected 20% and more of the workers were itchy skin, throat irritation, coughing and difficulty in breathing. Tobacco smoke was considered the main stressor. Noise level mean for music venues was Neq 99,67 dB (A). Only 34,7% of the staff considered music noise a stressor, with 16,9% concerned about people noise. The percentage that considered their environment to be polluted was 81,06%, however, only 48,42% felt stressed. Virtually all univariate and multivariate associations between psychosocial and psychophysical variables suggest that satisfaction with psychosocial factors may have a positive influence on staff in places of entertainment.