Patients with environment-related disorders: Comprehensive results of interdisciplinary diagnostics

Brand, S. and Heller, P. and Bircher, A. J. and Braun-Fahrländer C., and Huss, A. and Niederer, M. and Schwarzenbach, S. and Waeber, R. and Wegmann, L. and Kuechenhoff, J.. (2009) Patients with environment-related disorders: Comprehensive results of interdisciplinary diagnostics. Zentralblatt für Hygiene und Umweltmedizin = International journal of hygiene and environmental medicine, Vol. 212, H. 2. pp. 157-171.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5843285

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BACKGROUND: Researchers dealing with environmental illnesses face complex diagnostic and methodological difficulties. Poor objective findings contrast with high subjective suffering and a firm belief that environmental exposure is the only source of complaints. The Basel pilot research project established a multi-modal assessment procedure and assessed complaints attributed to the environment. Medical, psychological and environmental findings were evaluated as to their pathogenic validity. Furthermore, patients were pooled into distinguishable subgroups in order to formulate more appropriate therapy strategies. METHODS: Sixty-three patients took part in the threefold diagnostic approach (medical examination, psychiatric exploration, environmental analysis) of a mixed qualitative/quantitative study. Interdisciplinary case conferences allowed a consensus rating of the aetiological relevance of the findings to be reached. The discrepancy between self-rating and experts' judgement was exploited for subgroup formation. RESULTS: About 50% of the patients' symptoms could be attributed to psychiatric causes. Based on self-rating and experts' judgement, four subgroups were distinguished with differing medical, psychiatric and environmental aetiologies, personality traits and interactional competencies. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with environment-related disorders form a heterogeneous group. An interdisciplinary assessment and a comparison between self- and experts' judgements enable a more differentiated psychotherapeutic procedure and may enhance future treatment success
Faculties and Departments:03 Faculty of Medicine > Bereich Spezialfächer (Klinik) > Dermatologie USB > Dermatologie (Bircher)
03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Klinische Forschung > Bereich Spezialfächer (Klinik) > Dermatologie USB > Dermatologie (Bircher)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (EPH) > Environmental Exposures and Health Systems Research > Physical Hazards and Health (Röösli)
UniBasel Contributors:Bircher, Andreas J. and Braun-Fahrländer, Charlotte
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:G. Fischer
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:04 Jan 2013 08:38
Deposited On:04 Jan 2013 08:37

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