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Journal of Psychosomatic Research 68 (2010) 37-45

Symptoms, personality traits, and stress in people with mobile phone-related symptoms and electromagnetic hypersensitivity

Jueves 16 de septiembre de 2010 · 1133 lecturas

Symptoms, personality traits, and stress in people with mobile
phone-related symptoms and electromagnetic hypersensitivity
Amanda Johanssona,⁎, Steven Nordinb,c, Marina Heidend, Monica Sandströma

Journal of Psychosomatic Research 68 (2010) 37-45

Abstract
Objective: Some people report symptoms that they associate
with electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure. These symptoms may
be related to specific EMF sources or to electrical equipment in
general (perceived electromagnetic hypersensitivity, EHS). Research
and clinical observations suggest a difference between
mobile phone (MP)-related symptoms and EHS with respect to
symptom prevalence, psychological factors, and health prognosis.
This study assessed prevalence of EMF-related and EMFnonrelated
symptoms, anxiety, depression, somatization, exhaustion,
and stress in people with MP-related symptoms or EHS versus
a population-based sample and a control sample without EMFrelated
symptoms.

Methods: Forty-five participants with MPrelated
symptoms and 71 with EHS were compared with a
population-based sample (n=106) and a control group (n=63) using
self-report questionnaires.

Results: The EHS group reported more
symptoms than the MP group, both EMF-related and EMFnonrelated.
The MP group reported a high prevalence of
somatosensory symptoms, whereas the EHS group reported more
neurasthenic symptoms. As to self-reported personality traits and
stress, the case groups differed only on somatization and listlessness
in a direct comparison. In comparison with the reference groups, the
MP group showed increased levels of exhaustion and depression
but not of anxiety, somatization, and stress; the EHS group showed
increased levels for all of the conditions except for stress.

Conclusion: The findings support the idea of a difference between
people with symptoms related to specific EMF sources and people
with general EHS with respect to symptoms and anxiety,
depression, somatization, exhaustion, and stress. The differences
are likely to be important in the management of patients.
2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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