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Humidification of indoor air for preventing or reducing dryness symptoms or upper respiratory infections in educational settings and at the workplace


Byber, Katarzyna; Radtke, Thomas; Norbäck, Dan; Hitzke, Christine; Imo, David; Schwenkglenks, Matthias; Puhan, Milo Alan; Dressel, Holger; Mütsch, Margot (2021). Humidification of indoor air for preventing or reducing dryness symptoms or upper respiratory infections in educational settings and at the workplace. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2021(12):CD012219.pub2.

Abstract

Background

Indoor exposure to dry air during heating periods has been associated with dryness and irritation symptoms of the upper respiratory airways and the skin. The irritated or damaged mucous membrane poses an important entry port for pathogens causing respiratory infections.
Objectives

To determine the effectiveness of interventions that increase indoor air humidity in order to reduce or prevent dryness symptoms of the eyes, the skin and the upper respiratory tract (URT) or URT infections, at work and in educational settings.
Search methods

The last search for all databases was done in December 2020. We searched Ovid MEDLINE, Embase, CENTRAL (Cochrane Library), PsycINFO, Web of Science, Scopus and in the field of occupational safety and health: NIOSHTIC‐2, HSELINE, CISDOC and the In‐house database of the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of Zurich. We also contacted experts, screened reference lists of included trials, relevant reviews and consulted the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP).
Selection criteria

We included controlled studies with a parallel group or cross‐over design, quasi‐randomised studies, controlled before‐and‐after and interrupted time‐series studies on the effects of indoor air humidification in reducing or preventing dryness symptoms and upper respiratory tract infections as primary outcomes at workplace and in the educational setting. As secondary outcomes we considered perceived air quality, other adverse events, sick leave, task performance, productivity and attendance and costs of the intervention.
Data collection and analysis

Two review authors independently screened titles, abstracts and full texts for eligibility, extracted data and assessed the risks of bias of included studies. We synthesised the evidence for the primary outcomes 'dry eye', 'dry nose', 'dry skin', for the secondary outcome 'absenteeism', as well as for 'perception of stuffiness' as the harm‐related measure. We assessed the certainty of evidence using the GRADE system.

Abstract

Background

Indoor exposure to dry air during heating periods has been associated with dryness and irritation symptoms of the upper respiratory airways and the skin. The irritated or damaged mucous membrane poses an important entry port for pathogens causing respiratory infections.
Objectives

To determine the effectiveness of interventions that increase indoor air humidity in order to reduce or prevent dryness symptoms of the eyes, the skin and the upper respiratory tract (URT) or URT infections, at work and in educational settings.
Search methods

The last search for all databases was done in December 2020. We searched Ovid MEDLINE, Embase, CENTRAL (Cochrane Library), PsycINFO, Web of Science, Scopus and in the field of occupational safety and health: NIOSHTIC‐2, HSELINE, CISDOC and the In‐house database of the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of Zurich. We also contacted experts, screened reference lists of included trials, relevant reviews and consulted the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP).
Selection criteria

We included controlled studies with a parallel group or cross‐over design, quasi‐randomised studies, controlled before‐and‐after and interrupted time‐series studies on the effects of indoor air humidification in reducing or preventing dryness symptoms and upper respiratory tract infections as primary outcomes at workplace and in the educational setting. As secondary outcomes we considered perceived air quality, other adverse events, sick leave, task performance, productivity and attendance and costs of the intervention.
Data collection and analysis

Two review authors independently screened titles, abstracts and full texts for eligibility, extracted data and assessed the risks of bias of included studies. We synthesised the evidence for the primary outcomes 'dry eye', 'dry nose', 'dry skin', for the secondary outcome 'absenteeism', as well as for 'perception of stuffiness' as the harm‐related measure. We assessed the certainty of evidence using the GRADE system.

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Additional indexing

Contributors:Cochrane database of systematic reviews
Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Pharmacology (medical)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Pharmacology (medical)
Language:English
Date:10 December 2021
Deposited On:14 Jan 2022 14:52
Last Modified:20 Jan 2022 12:56
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1361-6137
Additional Information:Revidierte Pub2 der gleichnamigen Publikation derselben Autor/-innen aus dem Jahr 2016 in derselben Zeitschrift, issue 6
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.cd012219.pub2
Related URLs:https://www.zora.uzh.ch/id/eprint/131139/

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