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H DESIGN I. Group 1A, Dr. Jovilia M. Abong II. Research Question: Among students aged 13-14 with allergic rhinitis of selected schools in Dasmarias, Cavite, will exposure to air-conditioned school rooms exacerbate their allergic rhinitis? General Objective: To determine if the exposure to the air-conditioning system exacerbates allergic rhinitis in high school students, aged 13-14, of selected schools in Dasmarias, Cavite. Specific Objectives: 1. To identify the prevalence of allergic rhinitis among high school students, aged 13-14, of selected schools in of Dasmarias, Cavite based on their exposure to air-conditioned rooms. 2. To identify the prevalence of allergic rhinitis among high school students, aged 13-14, of selected schools in Dasmarias, Cavite based on their exposure to non-air-conditioned classrooms. 3. To determine the severity of allergic rhinitis according to ARIA classifications. 4. To identify the risk factors of allergic rhinitis present in the classroom or school. 5. To determine the number of hours exposed to the classroom with or without air-conditioning system. 6. Compare the severity of allergic rhinitis in students who are exposed to air-conditioned classrooms and those who are not exposed to air-conditioned classrooms. 7. To determine which studying environment is more suitable in the prevention of allergic rhinitis. III. Background a. Research Hypothesis: Exposure to air-conditioned rooms alleviates the symptoms and occurrence of allergic rhinitis and poor ventilation leads to its exacerbation. b. Conceptual Framework: Exposure Variable Disease Variable

Exposure to Airconditioning System Improves allergic Rhinitis


Exacerbates Allergic Rhinitis Allergens/Irritants Number of hours spent in classroom Condition of the room

IV. Design a. Operational definition of variables i. Dependent Variable Allergic Rhinitis Allergic rhinitis (often called allergies or hay fever) occurs when the immune system overreacts to particles in the air that you breathe. When the immune system attacks the particles in the body, it causes symptoms such as sneezing and a runny nose. Over the time, allergens may begin to affect you less, and the severity of the symptoms also decreases. [1] It is characterized as the inflammation of nasal passages, usually associated with watery nasal discharge and itching of the nose and eyes after exposure to the allergen. Around two-thirds of people with allergic rhinitis manifest the symptoms before the age of 30 but the age at which the symptoms occur may vary. Genetics greatly affects the chance of having allergic rhinitis of an individual. Usually if one or both parents have the disease, their offspring will have a high chance of inheriting the disease. People with allergic rhinitis can also be restricted by the disease in their day to day activities and this may result to increase in time away from school or work. Also, in the US, millions of dollars are spent every year for doctor services and medicine for treating the chronic illness. Symptoms of this illness are triggered by many different allergens and these usually include plant pollens, molds, dust, and allergens produced by cats or dogs. The amount of these allergens is affected by the season as the spread of pollens and spores are determined by the amount of wind in a particular season. [2] ii. Independent Variable Air-conditioning System According to the Department of Health of Hong Kong, sudden change in temperature both indoor and outdoor may activate the release of inflammatory agents. They stated that the room should be maintained at around 25 degrees Celsius. [3] The air conditioner is a common appliance usually found in many buildings both private and public. It is used to cool the air found indoors to make the people inside the building more comfortable. Air conditioners nowadays are not only used for cooling the air, some types of air conditioners can warm the indoor air especially those that are found in places where people experience the winter season. In addition to their air temperature changing capability, the air conditioners nowadays are also capable of filtering, disinfecting and dehumidifying the air to make the people using the appliance more comfortable that is why the air conditioner is also regarded as comfort-making-machine by some people. [4] iii. Confounding Variables: Dust Mites are arachnids not visible by the naked eye that feed on flakes on dead human skin. Mites do not bite humans or spread disease but rather allergy is triggered by the material in the stool of dust mites. They are usually found indoors with high humidity (warm and damp). They are also found in carpets, bed sheets, pillows, mattresses and box springs, furniture and stuffed animals. They decrease in number when temperature decreases and at high altitude. [1]

Animal dander is loose skin cells from animals which contain secretion from glands in the animals skin. These skin cells float in the air where they may be breathed in by people. The animals fur or hair per se is not an allergen, but there might be dried saliva on the hair that may bring about the allergy. [1] Pollens causes allergic reactions. These are tiny and come from plants (trees, grasses, ragweed, etc.). The amount of pollen in the air plays a role in developing allergic reaction. There is likely increased amounts of pollen in hot, dry and windy days, while a decreased amount during cool, damp and rainy days. [5] According to an article by deShazo and Kemp, the spores coming from molds can be a trigger in releasing the symptoms of allergic rhinitis. Also, according to them, mold thrives in damp environments such as air conditioning vents, water traps, refrigerator drip trays, shower stalls, leaky sinks, and damp basements if not cleaned regularly. Under certain conditions, the growth of these organisms can be considerable and exacerbate allergy symptoms. [6] Since allergic rhinitis is difficult to cure, the focus is on preventing the attack of the symptoms. Many different triggers that may cause a student to experience symptoms of asthma and allergy are found inside a typical classroom. These triggers include the pollens from the plants found near or inside a classroom, dust mites and mold spores. The cleanliness of the room may also play a factor in triggering the allergic reactions. The students themselves may also carry allergens produced by their pet cats or dogs which may cling to their clothes and trigger an allergic reaction when the students come in contact with them. Chalk dusts are also usually the causes of allergic reactions inside the classroom since the teachers usually use chalk for writing on the green boards. [7] b. Research Design i. Type of study to be employed The type of study that the researchers are going to be implementing is a cross-sectional research design. The researchers deem this the most necessary research design just to see whether or not there is a relationship between the number of hours exposed to air-conditioning systems and the exacerbation of Allergic Rhinitis. Moreover, this research design is appropriate because the Disease Variable of the research, which is Allergic Rhinitis, is not a rare disease (thus eliminating the use of a case-control study). However, in doing a cross-sectional study, the researchers must take note of and control the confounding variablesways of which will be discussed in the latter part of the description of the research design. ii. Definition of study groups population and sources of subjects. The study population will be 13-14 year old children who, in the Philippine setting, are approximately first year high school students. From this population, a sample of students who have AR will be considered for the study. The sample populations will be gathered from select schools in Dasmarias, Cavite, ideally one private and public school in order to acquire subjects that have exposure to an air conditioned school environment and one that is not. 3

iii. Steps to be undertaken: These are the steps to be done in our procedure to collect data for this project: 1. Evaluate the classroom conditions of each school.

The group will visit each high school and evaluate the environmental conditions of each classroom that will be part of the research. A checklist will be used to document and evaluate the conditions. 2. Screen students for allergic rhinitis.

Each student will be screened through a questionnaire, based on the ARIA questionnaire, to eliminate those who do not have allergic rhinitis from the study group. This will help in making the research study more specific to those who have allergic rhinitis and how the classroom conditions can alleviate or exacerbate their symptoms. 3. Determine what conditions or things in the classroom, particularly the presence or absence of an air-conditioning system, exacerbates or relieves each students allergic rhinitis. A questionnaire will be given to each student who has AR in which it will ask them if their symptoms are better or worse when they are in the classroom and what specific conditions help or harm them. 4. Evaluate each students questionnaire.

Each students questionnaire will be evaluated to see what particular conditions exacerbate and relieve their AR symptoms. There will also be a particular focus on whether having an airconditioning system present or not alleviates or worsens each students AR symptoms. [8]

iv. Schematic Diagram

Measure of Association: Prevalence Ratio Exacerbation of Allergic Rhinitis (+) (-) Air(+) A B Conditioning

Total A+B 4

System (-) Total C A+C D B+D C+D A+B+C+D

Cross-Sectional Study Effects of exposure to air-conditioning systems In the exacerbation of Allergic Rhinitis

Sample Population to be Tested 13-14 year-old high school students from selected High Schools in Dasmarinas, Cavite.

Procedure 1. Evaluate classroom conditions. 2. Screen students for allergic rhinitis. 3. Determine what conditions or things in the classroom, particularly the presence or absence of an air-conditioning system, exacerbates or relieves each students allergic rhinitis. 4. Evaluate student questionnaires.

c. Biases/Limitations i. Enumeration of all biases/limitations The study will only focus on the role of ventilation inside the classrooms in the relief and exacerbation of allergic rhinitis among students aged 13-14 years old studying in Dasmarias, Cavite. It will not include other respiratory diseases and illness that may be affected by the difference in ventilation. The possible biases in the study are:

Selection bias Expectation bias

ii. Plan to minimize these biases in the study Selection bias may happen when subjects being compared are not similar, and may result to data that is not representative of the population of interest. [9] With the use of proper screening methods for the study population, we will select subjects that are similar in almost all aspects in order to gather a more representative and comparable data. Expectation bias happens when there is no masking or blinding implemented in the study and this may influence and tarnish the data to be gathered towards the expected or desired outcome. [9] To minimize this bias, a high level of objectivity must be maintained with each of the members of the group of researchers in the gathering of data and its analysis. Bibliography [1] Healthwise Staff, Allergic Rhinitis, In: Thompson, E.G. MD, Nelson, H.S. MD, editor, Allergic Rhinitis [cited 2011 July 31] Available from: [2] Allergic rhinitis. (2010). Health encyclopedia diseases and conditions. Retrieved July 10, 2011, from [3] Retrieved on July 30, 2011 from

[4] Air conditioner. (2009). Air conditioning and refrigeration information. Retrieved July 30, 2011, from [5] Busse, P.J. MD., (2010) Allergic Rhinitis In: Zieve, D. MD., editor., [cited 2011 July 31] Available from: [6] deShazo R., Patient Information: Trigger avoidance in allergic rhinitis. Retrieved on July 30, 2011 from [7] Health risks in the classroom: children with asthma and allergies need to take special precautions at school. Retrieved July 30, 2011, from [8] ARIA Questionnaire. Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma [Website]. 2011 [cited 2011 July 30]. Available from [9] Hartman, J.M., Forsen, J.W., Wallace, M.S., Neely, J.G. (2002). Tutorials in clinical research: Part IV: Recognizing and controlling bias. Laryngoscope, 112, 23-31.