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Research article2014Peer reviewed

Psychological distress in asthma and allergy: the Västerbotten Environmental Health Study

Lind, Nina; Nordin, Maria; Palmquist, Eva; Nordin, Steven


With the aim to better understand the association between asthma/allergy and psychological distress, it was hypothesized that levels of stress, exhaustion, anxiety, depression, and health worries for environmental pollution would be higher in allergic asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis than in non-allergic asthma and in referents without asthma or allergy. Taking part in the population-based Vasterbotten Environmental Health Study (aged 18-79years), 76 respondents reported a physician-based diagnosis of allergic asthma, 86 reported non-allergic asthma, 190 reported allergic rhinitis, and 46 reported atopic dermatitis as the only form of asthma/allergy. A group of 2876 respondents without an asthma/allergy diagnosis constituted as referents. The participants responded to the Perceived Stress Scale, the Shirom-Melamed Burnout Questionnaire, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and the Environmental Pollution subscale of the Modern Health Worries Scale. Levels of stress, exhaustion, and anxiety were higher in allergic asthma and atopic dermatitis than in non-allergic asthma, allergic rhinitis, and among referents, and there was a strong tendency of such group differences for depression and health worries. The results imply that stress reduction and treatment of negative affect may in certain cases be fruitful interventions in patients with atopy.


anxiety; burnout; depression; stress; worry

Published in

Psychology, Health and Medicine
2014, Volume: 19, number: 3, pages: 316-323

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Other Health Sciences
    Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
    Environmental Health and Occupational Health

    Publication identifier


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