Background: Sensory hyperreactivity (SHR) is one explanation for airway symptoms induced by chemicals and scents. Little is known about health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and coping, in this group of patients. A study was done in patients with SHR to (1) compare the Nottingham Health Profile (NHP) and the Short-Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36) in regard to their suitability, validity, reliability, and acceptability; (2) evaluate how the patients cope with the illness; (3) assess whether there are differences between women and men with respect to HRQOL and coping; and (4) assess whether there are differences between patients and normative data with respect to HRQOL and coping.
Methods: A total of 115 patients (91 women) with SHR were asked to answer five questionnaires: astudy-specific questionnaire, the Chemical Sensitivity Scale for Sensory Hyperreactivity (CSS-SHR), the NHP, the SF-36, and the Jalowiec Coping Scale-60.
Results: Eighty-three patients (72%; 70 women) completed all questionnaires. The SF-36 scores were less skewed and more homogeneously distributed and showed fewer floor and ceiling effects than the NHP scores. The SF-36 was also discriminated better between patients with high and low CSS-SHR scores. The reliability standard for both questionnaires was satisfactory. There were no gender differences in HRQOL. Patients with SHR had significantly lower HRQOL scores than the normative data in comparable domains of the NHP and the SF-36: emotional reactions/mental health, energy/vitality, physical mobility/functioning, and pain/bodily pain. In social isolation/functioning, the results were different; the NHP scores were similar to the normative data and the SF-36 scores were lower. The most commonly used coping styles were optimistic, self-reliant, and confrontational. Women used optimistic coping more than men. Compared with the normative group, patients with SHR used confrontational and optimistic coping more and emotive coping less.
Conclusions: The current findings showed that both the NHP and the SF-36 were reliable instruments; but the results suggest that the SF-36 is a more sensitive instrument than the NHP for elucidating HRQOL in patients with SHR. Patients with SHR experienced a poor HRQOL and they followed the Western tradition of preferring problem-focused coping strategies to palliative and emotive strategies.
2013. Vol. 11, 182- p.