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OBJECTIVE To assess whether perceptions of the swine flu outbreak predicted changes in behaviour among members of the public in England, Scotland, and Wales. DESIGN Cross sectional telephone survey using random digit dialling. SETTING Interviews by telephone between 8 and 12 May. PARTICIPANTS 997 adults aged 18 or more who had heard of swine flu and(More)
BACKGROUND The summer of 2007 was the wettest in the UK since records began in 1914 and resulted in severe flooding in several regions. We carried out a health impact assessment using population-based surveys to assess the prevalence of and risk factors for the psychosocial consequences of this flooding in the United Kingdom. METHODS Surveys were(More)
A systematic review of provocation studies of persons reporting multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) was conducted from databases searched from inception to May 2006. Thirty-seven studies were identified, testing 784 persons reporting MCS, 547 control subjects, and 180 individuals of whom a subset were chemically sensitive. Blinding was inadequate in most(More)
BACKGROUND Terrorist attacks can have psychological effects on the general public. AIMS To assess the medium-term effects of the July 2005 London bombings on the general population in London and to identify risk factors for persistent effects. METHOD We telephoned 1010 Londoners 11-13 days after the bombings to assess stress levels, perceived threat and(More)
OBJECTIVES The objectives of this study were to assess whether people who report hypersensitivity to weak electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are better at detecting EMF under blind or double-blind conditions than nonhypersensitive individuals, and to test whether they respond to the presence of EMF with increased symptom reporting. METHODS An extensive(More)
The public's understanding of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) related issues and their likely actions following a CBRN incident is an issue of great concern, as public psychological and behavioural responses will help determine subsequent morbidity and mortality rates. This paper explores the role of effective government communication(More)
OBJECTIVE Medically unsubstantiated 'intolerances' to foods, chemicals and environmental toxins are common and are frequently discussed in the media. Idiopathic environmental intolerance attributed to electromagnetic fields (IEI-EMF) is one such condition and is characterized by symptoms that are attributed to exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF). In(More)
BACKGROUND During the early stages of the 2009 swine flu (influenza H1N1) outbreak, the large majority of patients who contacted the health services about the illness did not have it. In the UK, the NHS Direct telephone service was used by many of these patients. We used qualitative interviews to identify the main reasons why people approached NHS Direct(More)
OBJECTIVE Some patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) exhibit low basal cortisol levels, but it is not known whether low cortisol is a cause of CFS, predates the onset of CFS symptoms, or is an epiphenomenon caused by the behavioral changes typical of CFS. Because elective surgery is one of the few predictable risk factors for chronic fatigue, in this(More)
In October 2011, several adolescent girls at a high school in the town of Leroy, New York (pop. 7641), spontaneously developed facial tics, muscle twitching and garbled speech. By early January 2012, it was revealed that the New York State Health Department had diagnosed the students (by now, 14 women and 1 man) with conversion disorder. News of the 'mass(More)