Normative data for the chemical sensitivity scale for sensory hyperreactivity: the Västerbotten environmental health study

  • Steven Nordin
  • Eva Palmquist
  • Mats Bende
  • Eva Millqvist
Original Article



The chemical sensitivity scale for sensory hyperreactivity (CSS-SHR) is used to quantify affective reactions to and behavioral disruptions by odorous/pungent substances in the environment and has documented good metric properties. However, normative data have not been available. The main objective of the present study was therefore to establish normative data for reference by means of a large-scale population-based study.

Materials and methods

From a random sample of 8,520 reachable inhabitants in the county of Västerbotten in Sweden, aged 18–79 years, stratified for age and gender, 3,406 individuals agreed to participate.


The results show fairly high internal consistency (Cronbach’s α = 0.78–0.83) of the CSS-SHR and that it generates scores with approximately normal distributions (skewness: 0.045–0.454; kurtosis: −0.314 to 0.230), irrespective of age group and gender. Mean scores, standard deviations, confidence intervals, and proportions of individuals who met the diagnostic cutoff score for the CSS-SHR were obtained for reference of normality.


CSS-SHR can be recommended for quantification of affective reactions to and behavioral disruptions by odorous/pungent environmental substances, and with the advantage of comparing scores with normality.


Multiple chemical sensitivity Normation Environmental hypersensitivity Population-based Reliability 



This study was supported by grants from the Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association’s Research Fund, the European territorial cooperation program Botnia-Atlantica, Region Västerbotten (Sweden), and the Regional Council of Ostrobothnia (Finland). We gratefully acknowledge Annika Glader for supervising the TEMA project, of which this work was part.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven Nordin
    • 1
  • Eva Palmquist
    • 1
  • Mats Bende
    • 2
  • Eva Millqvist
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUmeå UniversityUmeåSweden
  2. 2.Department of OtorhinolaryngologyCentral HospitalSkövdeSweden
  3. 3.Asthma and Allergy Research GroupSahlgrenska University HospitalGöteborgSweden

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