, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 141-150
Date: 02 Dec 2009

Attention to bodily sensations and symptom perception in individuals with idiopathic environmental intolerance

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access



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.