Nonspecific building-related symptoms (NBRS) is a combination of general, skin and mucosal symptoms related to certain buildings. Despite high prevalence in the general population and severe symptomatology in certain cases there is no scientific documentation of quality of life in NBRS. The purpose of this study was to illuminate how individuals with NBRS experience daily life. Data were collected through descriptive, written texts and through telephone interviews with 11 individuals diagnosed with NBRS, and qualitative content analysis was conducted. Three main content areas were identified: (1) attitudes from the surrounding (categories: being questioned and lack of understanding from others; from zero to full support); (2) consequences (difficulties with daily activities; financial difficulties; affecting family and friends; emotional consequences); and (3) coping (learning to accept and finding solutions; avoiding; struggling; finding the positive; making one's home a sanctuary). As a conclusion, NBRS may affect several aspects of daily life, resulting in considerable alterations, limitations and emotional impact for the afflicted person and his/her family. Both environmental factors and attitudes from the surrounding can contribute to this impact on daily life. Strategies needed to cope with this impact may include both problem-focused and emotion-focused strategies, such as struggling, avoiding trigger factors and finding positive aspects.
2016. Vol. 57, no 5