American Journal of Public Health Research
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American Journal of Public Health Research. 2018, 6(2), 84-98
DOI: 10.12691/ajphr-6-2-11
Open AccessSpecial Issue

Psychosocial Effects of Beryllium Sensitization and Chronic Beryllium Disease

Jeffrey R. Miller1, , Gregory C. Petty2, Paul C. Erwin2 and Donna L. Cragle1

1Oak Ridge Associated Universities, P.O. Box 117, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-0117

2The University of Tennessee, Department of Public Health, 1914 Andy Holt Ave.,369 HPER, Knoxville, TN 37996-3430

Pub. Date: March 22, 2018

Cite this paper:
Jeffrey R. Miller, Gregory C. Petty, Paul C. Erwin and Donna L. Cragle. Psychosocial Effects of Beryllium Sensitization and Chronic Beryllium Disease. American Journal of Public Health Research. 2018; 6(2):84-98. doi: 10.12691/ajphr-6-2-11


The objective of this research was to describe the psychosocial effects of beryllium sensitization (BeS) and chronic beryllium disease (CBD) for a sample of current and former workers from U.S. Department of Energy facilities in Oak Ridge, TN. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 participants. Interviews were recorded and transcribed. The responses were coded and analyzed to identify patterns and themes and to learn about their experiences. The results were compared to a theoretical model developed by the authors. Participants described ambiguity, inconsistency, vagueness, unpredictability, lack of information, and unfamiliarity that was consistent with the Michel Uncertainty in Illness Scale. They also described how they adjusted to their illness in a manner aligned with Derogatis’ Psychosocial Adjustment to Illness theory. Based on the results of this study, it appears appropriate to apply Uncertainty in Illness and Psychosocial Adjustment to Illness theories to BeS and CBD. Uncertainty may be considered an independent variable and psychosocial adjustment an intermediate variable in the study of the psychosocial effects of BeS and CBD.

Beryllium berylliosis uncertainty in illness psychosocial adjustment stress and coping

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