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Experiences of problems in individuals with hypersensitivity to odours and chemicals
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Central Hospital, S-541 85 Skövde, Sweden.
University of Skövde, School of Life Sciences.
2009 (English)In: Journal of Clinical Nursing, ISSN 0962-1067, E-ISSN 1365-2702, Vol. 18, no 5, 737-744 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim. The purpose of the study was to describe how individuals with hypersensitivity to odours and chemicals handle their problems.

Background. One group of patients we often encounter consists of those with upper and lower respiratory problems who also have a pronounced sensitivity to odours and chemicals. Earlier studies have shown that these symptoms can be related to sensory hyperreactivity (SHR). This hyperreactivity is characterised by respiratory tract symptoms triggered by odours and chemicals, along with high sensitivity to inhaled capsaicin and a positive score on the chemical sensitivity scale for SHR. However, there is still a lack of studies in which SHR sufferers describe their situations in their own words.

Design. The study was conducted using a qualitative approach.

Methods. Eight individuals with confirmed SHR were selected from a population-based epidemiological study and interviewed. A qualitative content analysis was performed on the data.

Results. Four themes emerged from the data analysis: Limitations in one's life situation, Lack of understanding from others, Concern that the symptoms will develop into a serious disease and Disparagement of one's own personal experience. The results show how individuals manage their daily lives with the help of various strategies, how they relate to other people, how they cope with their concerns and the fact that they sometimes choose to disparage their own experience of their problems.

Conclusion. The results indicate that people with SHR experience limitations in their life situations. These limitations consist of the adjustments they make to avoid triggering factors.

Relevance to clinical practice. To improve care, nurses need to know how people experience SHR and how they cope with their hypersensitivity to odours and chemicals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2009. Vol. 18, no 5, 737-744 p.
Keyword [en]
care, nurses, nursing, qualitative interview, sensory hyperreactivity
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Medical sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-2839DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2008.02599.xISI: 000263337700014PubMedID: 19239540Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-60349091952OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-2839DiVA: diva2:207626
Available from: 2009-03-12 Created: 2009-03-12 Last updated: 2013-04-02Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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