Attention to bodily sensations and symptom perception in individuals with idiopathic environmental intolerance
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- Skovbjerg, S., Zachariae, R., Rasmussen, A. et al. Environ Health Prev Med (2010) 15: 141. doi:10.1007/s12199-009-0120-y
Idiopathic environmental intolerance (IEI) is characterized by non-specific symptoms attributed to exposure to environmental odours or chemicals at levels below those known to induce adverse health effects. A clarification of whether psychological processes involved in sensory perceptions are associated with IEI would add to our understanding of this complex disorder.
To examine if measures of somato-sensory amplification, autonomic perception and absorption are associated with IEI.
The study included individuals with self-reported or physician-diagnosed IEI. Participants (n = 732) completed questionnaires that included items on descriptive variables of IEI, the Somato-Sensory Amplification Scale (SSAS), the Autonomic Perception Questionnaire (APQ), the Tellegen Absorption Scale (TAS) and a Negative Affectivity Scale (NAS).
Multiple, hierarchical linear regression analyses revealed significant positive associations between SSAS, APQ, and IEI, while small and inverse associations were seen between TAS and IEI.
The association with SSAS and APQ suggests that perceptual personality characteristics are important in understanding this disorder.
KeywordsAbsorptionAutonomic perceptionChemical sensitivityIdiopathic environmental intoleranceSomato-sensory amplification
Autonomic Perception Questionnaire
Chemical Hypersensitivity Scale
CNS Symptom Scale
Consequences for Social Activities Scale
The Chemical Sensitivity Scale for sensory hyper-reactivity
Idiopathic environmental intolerance
Mucosal Symptom Scale
Negative Affectivity Scale
Somato-Sensory Amplification Scale
Tellegen Absorption Scale