Methods:Total 115 students (male=54, 11.9±0.3 years) from the two newly built elementary schools were included. Their demographic data and skin prick results (for 30 common inhalant allergens) were collected initially. For RCEIP, potted indoor plants of eight plant-species were introduced to four classrooms (77 students) for three months, and the others were included to the controls. This process was done randomly and the single blinded (investigator) study scheme was kept until the completion. AR symptom-questionnaire (ARIA 2008 based), Korean Daily Hassles Scale for Children, Stress-Arousal Checklist, and Indoor Attractiveness Scale were surveyed before and after introducing indoor plants.
Results: Comparisons of the inhalant allergen sensitization rates based on the allergy skin prick test with 30 common inhalant allergens between the two groups (plant introduction vs. control) were all insignificant. In stratified and propensity score matching analyses with AR students (74 suspected, and 45 confirmed), AR symptoms were not changed by RCEIP. Increase in the teachers/school-life related stress was suppressed by RCEIP in subjects, but not in controls (p<0.05). Indoor attractiveness was maintained by RCEIP, but decreased in controls (p<0.05).
Conclusions:Three-month-Introduction of indoor plants for RCEIP suppressed school stress and increased indoor attractiveness, but did not aggravate AR symptoms of students in newly built schools.
*This work was carried out with the support (PJ010205042015) of Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea (South Korea).