Medical and social prognoses of non-specific building-related symptoms (Sick Building Syndrome): a follow-up study of patients previously referred to hospital
2008 (English)In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, ISSN 0340-0131, E-ISSN 1432-1246, Vol. 81, no 7, 805-812 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Objectives The aim of this study was to describe and analysethe medical and social prognoses of patients with nonspeciWcbuilding-related symptoms.Methods A follow-up questionnaire focusing on current medical and social status, care, treatment, other actions taken and personality traits was sent to 239 patients with non-speciWc building-related symptoms assessed during theperiod between1986 and 1998 at University Hospital in Umeå, Sweden. The response rate was 79%.Results Fatigue, irritation of the eyes, and facial erythemawere the most common weekly symptoms reported atfollow-up. As females constituted 92% of the respondents,statistical analyses were restricted to women. The level andseverity of symptoms decreased over time, although nearlyhalf of the patients claimed that symptoms were more or lessunchanged after 7 years or more, despite actions taken.Twenty-Wve percent of the patients were on the sick-list, and20% drew disability pension due to persistent symptoms atfollow-up. The risk of having no work capabilities at followupwas signiWcantly increased if the time from onset to Wrstvisit at the hospital clinic was more than 1 year. This riskwas also signiWcantly higher if the patient at the Wrst visithad Wve or more symptoms. All risk assessments wereadjusted for length of follow-up. Symptoms were oftenaggravated by diVerent situations in everyday life.Conclusions Long-lasting symptoms aggravated by environmentalfactors exist within this group of patients. Theresults support that early and comprehensive measures forrehabilitation are essential for the patients.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer-Verlag New York, 2008. Vol. 81, no 7, 805-812 p.
Disability pension, Gender, Symptoms, Triggering factors, Work capability
Research subject Psychology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-23027DOI: 10.1007/s00420-007-0267-zISI: 000255113400002PubMedID: 17924130OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-23027DiVA: diva2:219150