Sensory Hyperreactivity and Chemical Sensitivity, Tilia
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Latest update: 2011-02-27

The chemical sensitivity scale: Psychometric properties and comparison with the noise sensitivity scale

Authors: Nordin S, Millqvist E, Löwhagen O, Bende M.

Journal: J Environ Psychol 2003;23:359-67.

A questionnaire-based tool for quantifying self-reported affective reactions to and behavioral disruptions by odorous/pungent substances, called the Chemical Sensitivity Scale (CSS), analogous to the Noise Sensitivity Scale (NSS),was evaluated regarding psychometric properties. Twenty-six members from the Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association and 124 control participants responded to the CSS,the NSS,and to additional questions for evaluation of the validity of the CSS and NSS. The results showed that the CSS generates approximately normal distributions, has good test–retest reliability (rxy 1/4 0:87),good internal consistency (ra 1/4 0:88),and satisfying predictive and concurrent validity. These metric properties of the CSS and NSS were in general very similar. The content validity of the CSS is discussed. Two major dimensions of the CSS appear to represent sensory/somatic and neurasthenic symptoms,respectively. The analogy of the CSS to the NSS implies that use of both scales in combination may enhance understanding for the issue of general environmental sensitivity versus specific sensitivity to chemicals. Correlation coefficients between CSS and NSS scores for the asthma and allergy members (rxy 1/4 0:40) and controls (rxy 1/4 0:42) imply a moderate correspondence between chemical and noise sensitivity.

2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

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