Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 966-972

Method for assessment of indoor household dampness for its use in epidemiological studies in tropical settings

1 Department of Environmental Health Engineering, Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Microbiology, Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Saraswathy Manivannan
Department of Environmental Health Engineering, Sri Ramachandra University, Porur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ATMPH.ATMPH_298_17

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Objectives: Epidemiological studies are available in developed countries with temperate conditions that assessed residential dampness in relation to health using various methods, but studies are very limited in tropical settings, especially in developing countries though favorable conditions prevail. As the reasons for building dampness in tropics are not similar to Western countries, there is always a need for baseline information on its prevalence and selection of method for assessment. Methods: We here discuss on limitations and advantages of each of the various methods to assess dampness. In addition, based on a household level survey on the possible sources of dampness and condition prevailing, we have developed a study instrument for obtaining self-reported information related to residential dampness that is suitable for epidemiological studies in a tropical developing country. Conclusion: Based on the suitability of the methods discussed, it is concluded that a single method would not be valid enough to provide accurate results in regions where previous studies are unavailable. A combination of objective measurement and self-reported information would be appropriate to assess dampness in health-related epidemiological studies conducted in tropical developing countries that lack sufficient previous research. This study may act as a prelude for further large level-field investigations on dampness in tropical developing countries.

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