American Journal of Public Health Research
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American Journal of Public Health Research. 2018, 6(2), 99-105
DOI: 10.12691/ajphr-6-2-12
Open AccessSpecial Issue

Measuring the Psychosocial Effects of Beryllium Sensitization and Chronic Beryllium Disease in Current and Retired Workers

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. Measuring the Psychosocial Effects of Beryllium Sensitization and Chronic Beryllium Disease in Current and Retired Workers. American Journal of Public Health Research. 2018; 6(2):99-105. doi: 10.12691/ajphr-6-2-12

Abstract

Current and former workers from the U.S. Department of Energy complex were surveyed to measure the psychosocial effects of beryllium sensitization (BeS) and chronic beryllium disease (CBD). Questionnaires were administered to measure uncertainty in illness, psychosocial adjustment to illness, and health quality of life. Hypotheses were tested and relationships between variables determined. There were 126 participants; 52 with CBD and 74 with BeS. The health quality of life survey indicated participants with CBD had significantly different physical component summary scores than those with BeS. Mental component summary scores were similar. Psychosocial adjustment scores were also significantly different. Uncertainty scores were approximately equal. Moderate to strong correlations were found between the three variables. As uncertainty increased, health quality of life decreased unless the effects were mediated by psychosocial adjustments to the illness. It was concluded that BeS may have as much impact on mental health as CBD. If true, this adds an important new component to the spectrum of CBD that has implications for treatment and workers compensation.

Keywords:
Beryllium berylliosis uncertainty in illness psychosocial adjustment health quality of life

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