Worries about modernity predict symptom complaints after environmental pesticide spraying


Petrie, Keith J., Broadbent, Elizabeth A., Kley, Nadine, Moss-Morris, Rona, Horne, Rob and Rief, Winfried (2005) Worries about modernity predict symptom complaints after environmental pesticide spraying. Psychosomatic Medicine, 67, (5), 778-782. (doi:10.1097/01.psy.0000181277.48575.a4).

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Description/Abstract

Objective: Concerns about environmental and technological changes affecting health have been shown to be associated with symptom reports in cross-sectional studies. We aimed to investigate how worries about modernity affecting health, negative affectivity, and prior symptom complaints influence health complaints after environmental spraying in a prospective study.

Methods: Two hundred ninety-two residents of West Auckland completed questionnaires measuring recent symptoms, negative affect, and concerns about the effects of modernity on health before aerial spraying of their neighborhood with Foray 48B. After spraying, 181 residents (62%) returned a follow-up questionnaire measuring symptoms, spray-avoidance behavior, and the perceived effect of the spray program on health.

Results: The number of symptoms reported after the spray was most closely related to the number of symptoms reported at baseline (ß = 0.40, p = .0001). Higher levels of modern health worries (ß = 0.23, p = .001) and baseline symptoms (ß = 0.17, p < .05) were associated with a higher number of symptoms being attributed to the spray program. Modern health worries also predicted avoidance behavior during the spraying times (ß = 0.32, p = .001) and the belief that the health of participants and the health of their children and pets was affected by the spray (all p < .01).

Conclusion: Worries about aspects of modern life affecting health can strongly influence the attribution of symptoms and beliefs about health effects after environmental incidents.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 0033-3174 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: symptom reports, modern health worries, environmental concerns, anxiety, environmental incidents
Subjects: T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Psychology > Division of Human Wellbeing
ePrint ID: 40263
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2006
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:25
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/40263

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