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SYMPTOMS AND DIAGNOSES IN INDIVIDUALS HIGH IN MODERN HEALTH WORRIES
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Modern health worries (MHW) are perceived risk to personal health from technological changes and features of modern life (e.g. additives in food, radiation from technical devices, environmental pollution etc.). MHW has earlier been related to more symptom reporting, increased health care utilization, poorer self-perceived health and higher sense of vulnerability to environmental stressors, but no study has yet explored the association to specific symptoms or diagnoses. The present study tested the hypotheses that individuals with high level of MHW are more likely to have various kinds of specific health symptoms, and are more likely to have diagnoses of psychiatric, inflammatory and functional somatic type. The data in this cross-sectional study was collected from the population-based Västerbotten Environmental Health Study in Sweden, in which 3406 individuals aged between 18-79 years participated. MHWs, symptoms and diagnoses were assessed with the MHW scale, EHSI, PHQ-15 and self-reports of having been diagnosed by a physician. Participants were divided into a low and high MHW group based on scores on the MHW scale. The results from binary logistic regression analyses provided support for the hypothesis of MHW and more symptom reporting, but results did not provided support for the hypothesis of MHW and higher likelihood of diagnoses. In conclusion, MHW is associated with symptom prevalence, both inflammatory symptoms, common somatization symptoms and symptoms of an emotional/cognitive character. This study has also provided prevalence rates for the investigated symptoms and diagnoses for the high level MHW group in this Swedish sample.

Abstract [sv]

Modern hälsooro (MHO) är benämningen för oro avseende hur den personliga hälsan påverkas av teknologiska förändringar och aspekter av det moderna samhället (t.ex. tillsatsämnen i mat, strålning från teknisk apparatur, miljöföroreningar etc.). MHO har tidigare associerats med högre grad av rapporterade symtom, ökad användning av sjukvård, sämre självupplevd hälsa och en upplevelse av ökad känslighet för miljöstressorer, men ingen studie har ännu utforskat associationen till specifika symtom eller diagnoser. Denna studie testade hypoteserna att individer med hög nivå av MHO är mer benägna att ha olika typer av specifika hälsosymtom, och mer benägna att ha psykiatriska-, inflammatoriska-, och funktionellt somatiska diagnoser. Data i denna tvärsektionella studie kommer från Miljöhälsostudien i Västerbotten, i vilken 3406 individer i åldrarna 18-79 år deltog. MHO, symtom och diagnoser undersöktes med MHO-skalan, EHSI, PHQ-15 samt självrapportering av diagnoser som erhållits av läkare. Deltagarna delades in i en låg respektive en hög MHO grupp baserat på deras poäng på MHO-skalan. Resultaten från binära logistiska regressionsanalyser gav stöd för hypotesen om MHO och ökad symtomrapportering, men gav inte stöd för hypotesen om MHO och fler erhållna diagnoser. Sammanfattningsvis är MHO associerat med ökad prevalens av symtom, både inflammatoriska symtom, symtom vanliga vid somatisering, samt symtom av en emotionell/kognitiv karaktär. Denna studie har också visat på förekomsten av de undersökta symtomen och diagnoserna i gruppen med hög MHO i detta svenska urval.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-148291OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-148291DiVA, id: diva2:1211984
Educational program
Study Programme for University Diploma in Psychology
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-06-05 Created: 2018-05-31 Last updated: 2018-06-05Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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