Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS): psychological factors in the developement of the disorder Introduction. - Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) is a disorder characterized by symptoms of unknown etiology that have been attributed by patients to multiple environmental exposures when other medical explanations have been excluded. Although the pathogenesis of MCS is unknown, both physical and psychological causes have been proposed. The present qualitative study aimed to explore patients’personal experience, opinions and beliefs about MCS. Methods. Psychological counselling and semi-structured interview-guide was employed to interview 40 adults, aged 32 to 78 years, self-identified with MCS. Results. The commonly reported symptoms are hypersensitivity to the smell of chemical, headache, lack of concentration, and memory difficulties. Patients with MCS complaints claim poor quality of life, depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. Conclusion. This study suggests that MCS is a chronic and disabling condition, therefore strategies are needed to improve patients’ quality of life. Understanding the impact of illness on the global health condition is crucial to communicate with and treat persons with MCS.
Key words: Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), environmental illness, quality study, quality of life, anxiety, depression
Parole chiave: Sensibilità Chimica Multipla (SCM), malattia ambientale, studio qualitativo, qualità della vita, ansia, depressione