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The infuence of personality, measured by the Karolinska Scales of Personality (KSP), on symptoms among subjects in suspected sick buildings
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
2004 (English)In: Indoor Air, ISSN 0905-6947, E-ISSN 1600-0668, no 14, 394-404 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim was to study possible relationships between personality traitsas measured by the Karolinska Scales of Personality (KSP), a self-report personalityinventory based on psychobiological theory, and medical symptoms, insubjects with previous work history in suspected sick buildings. The studycomprised 195 participants from 19 consecutive cases of suspected sick buildings,initially collected in 1988–92. In 1998–89, the KSP inventory and a symptomsquestionnaire were administered in a postal follow-up study. There were 16questions on symptoms, including symptoms from the eyes, nose, throat, skin,and headache, tiredness, and a symptom score (SC), ranging from 0 to 16, wascalculated. The questionnaire also requested information on personal factors,including age, gender, smoking habits, allergy and diagnosed asthma. The KSPratings in the study group did not differ from the mean personality scale normscores, calculated from an external reference group. Females had higher scoresfor somatic anxiety (P < 0.01), muscular tension (P < 0.001), psychic anxiety(P < 0.01), psychasthenia (P < 0.05), indirect aggression (P < 0.05), and guilt(P < 0.05), while males scored higher on detachment (P < 0.001). Subjects withhigher SC were found to display higher degree of somatic anxiety (P < 0.001),muscular tension (P < 0.001), psychic anxiety (P < 0.001), psychasthenia(P < 0.001), inhibition of aggression (P < 0.05), detachment (P < 0.05), suspicion(P < 0.01), indirect aggression (P < 0.01), and verbal aggression(P < 0.05). In addition, ocular, respiratory, dermal, and systemic symptoms(headache and tiredness) were significantly related to anxiety- and aggressivityrelatedscales. There were associations between personality scales and change ofsymptom score (SC) during the 9-year period. The associations between KSPpersonality traits and symptoms were more pronounced in females. In conclusion,there are gender differences in personality and SBS symptoms. Personalitymay play a role in the occurrence of symptoms studied in indoor environmentalepidemiology. Our results support a view that measurement of personality couldbe of value in future studies and vulnerability to environmental stress.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. no 14, 394-404 p.
Keyword [en]
Anxiety, Aggression, Fatigue, Headache, Personality, Sick building syndrome
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-93342DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0668.2004.00261.xOAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-93342DiVA: diva2:166792
Available from: 2005-09-22 Created: 2005-09-22 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Personality, Stress, and Indoor Environmental Symptomatology
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Personality, Stress, and Indoor Environmental Symptomatology
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The sick building syndrome (SBS) comprises eye, nose, skin, and throat symptoms, headache and fatigue. Gender, personality aspects, and psychosocial factors at work have lately been at focus in health research. The main aim of this thesis was to investigate the relationships between SBS and personal factors, personality traits, and psychosocial work stress. Two different populations were studied: a cohort of 195 subjects working in suspected “sick buildings” followed 1988-1999, and a random sample of 695 subjects from the Swedish population, 20-65 y. Two personality scales were used; the Karolinska Scales of Personality (KSP) and the Sense of Coherence (SOC). Two stress questionnaires were used: the 3-dimensional demands-control-support model (DCS) and the Assessment of Perceived Psychosocial Work Environment (PPWE). SBS and personal factors were assessed by a postal symptoms questionnaire and a symptom score (SC) was calculated. Personality was assessed by means of two verbal personality scales, the KSP and the SOC. Females in problem buildings had more SBS than men, and females had a lower SOC and more anxiety and aggressivity in the KSP. Females and males in the general working population reported differences in psychosocial work environment. Moreover, the associations between personality traits and SBS, and between DCS and SBS, differed between males and females. Over all, the investigated occupants of suspected sick-buildings were within the normal range for both KSP and SOC norms. However, those with symptoms showed prominent personality vulnerability, especially in anxiety, aggressivity, and lower SOC, compared to those that were not reporting symptoms. Female gender, low age, asthma, and a history of atopy were related to SBS in the general working population. A combination of low social support and either passive, strained, or active work situation, as well as a combination of high social support and active work situation, were associated with SBS. In conclusion, measurements of personality and psychosocial work environment could be of value in future studies on environmental syndromes. Moreover, the demans-control-support model can predict SBS, but in a more complex way than indicated by earlier research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2005. 64 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 61
Keyword
Medical sciences, SBS, Personality traits, stress, KSP, SOC, demands-control-support, MEDICIN OCH VÅRD
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-5899 (URN)91-554-6314-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2005-11-10, MIC AULA (vid restaurang Rullan), Hus 6, Polacksbacken, Uppsala, 13:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2005-09-22 Created: 2005-09-22 Last updated: 2011-05-13Bibliographically approved

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Runeson, RomaNorbäck, Dan

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